Inducing labor may be associated with increased risk of autism

Published On: Aug 12 2013 06:06:28 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 12 2013 06:30:07 PM EDT

A study from The University of Michigan and Duke finds research that may link inducing labor to autism, especially in boys.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -

Babies have their own time table, and not all of them arrive as planned. 

New research suggests speeding up that process could come with an unexpected risk.

"We found that moms who were either induced or augmented were more likely to have children who later presented with autism," said Marie Lynn Miranda, senior author of the study and dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

The findings are based on a large, retrospective analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan and Duke Medicine.

The researchers looked at looked at records of all births in North Carolina over an eight-year period and matched 625,042 births with corresponding public school records, which indicated whether children were diagnosed with autism.

They found a 35 percent higher risk of autism in boys whose mothers' labor was induced or augmented.

That's concerning since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the number of women that are induced each year in the U.S. rose from less than 10 percent to more than 22 percent between 1990 and 2006. 

Inducing labor did not seem to raise the risk of autism for girls, but augmenting labor did. 

"In general, we see higher rates of autism in male children than in female children and we don't really know why," said Miranda.  

One out of every 88 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and that number is rising. 

"We don't really know why that disease has been rising over time, and we don't know all the causes of autism, in fact, we don't know many of the causes of autism," said Miranda.  "I really want to emphasize that this is a study that found an association, we didn't find cause and effect at this point." 

Researchers said more extensive studies are needed. 

Experts stressed inducing is often medically necessary for the health of the mom or the baby.  Miranda said, right now, this research won't change that. 

"Your obstetrician is going to have the best information on whether in your particular case induction or augmentation is the right thing to do, so I would follow your obstetrician's advice," said Miranda.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus