Pre- and Perinatal Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorder in a New Jersey Cohort.
This study evaluated the prevalence of pre- and perinatal risk factors in a cohort of children with autism spectrum disorders compared with the New Jersey population.
Our cohort included 268 individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Birth histories were obtained by a self-administered questionnaire.
The autism spectrum disorders cohort rates of 7 perinatal risk factors were significantly higher than New Jersey state rates:
mother’s age 35 years or older,
low birth weight,
prolonged labor, and
Analysis of clustering of risk factors in the cohort showed no significant differences across maternal and paternal age groups.
Older mothers in the cohort had a higher risk of infant hypoxia.
Multiple risk factors during pregnancy appear to be associated with a higher risk of autism spectrum disorders in offspring, supporting the hypothesis that environmental influences in conjunction with genetics contribute to the causes of autism spectrum disorders.