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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Autism & Maternal Weight, Diabetes & Blood Pressure

By April 10, 2012

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Autism occurs at the rate of about 1 out of 88 children, up from 1 out of 110 in just 2006. This number has recently been rising. This week a study was published in the journal Pediatrics that relates several maternal characteristics to the rates of autism. Basically there was a 60% higher rate of autism and other developmental delays found in mothers who were either obese, had diabetes or high blood pressure.In the United States about a third of pregnant women meet the criteria for obesity and 8.7% have diabetes, according to this study.

It is important to note that this study does not say that one causes the other, but simply that there is some association. The question then becomes what do we do about it?


Maternal Metabolic Conditions and Risk for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders Paula Krakowiak, Cheryl K. Walker, Andrew A. Bremer, Alice S. Baker, Sally Ozonoff, Robin L. Hansen, and Irva Hertz-Picciotto Pediatrics peds.2011-2583

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