NASET News Alert

Risk for Autism Increased With Preterm, Post-term Birth

October 02, 2020

Preterm and post-term birth are associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study published online Sept. 22 in PLOS Medicine. Martina Persson, M.D., Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined the risk for ASD across the range of gestational ages (GAs) while adjusting for sex and size for GA. Children were followed from birth for a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Data were included for 3,526,174 singletons born from 1995 to 2015, including 1.44 percent with ASD. The researchers found that 4.7 percent of the cohort were born preterm. The relative risk for ASD increased by each week of GA from 40 weeks to 24 weeks (preterm) and from 40 weeks to 44 weeks (post-term). Read More