Thursday 19 September 2019
New research by our Sphere Programme PhD candidate, Gillian Maher and team, has been published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry today.
The work is exploring the association between preeclampsia and preeclampsia coupled with small gestational age (SGA), and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
While there is conflicting evidence regarding a preeclampsia‐ASD relationship, pooled estimates from epidemiological research suggest preeclampsia is associated with a 50% increase in odds of ASD. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the association between preeclampsia and ASD, while addressing the key limitations in the literature.
Using data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register, the sample cohort consisted of 2,842,230 children, with 54,071 cases of ASD. Making this study the largest epidemiological study to investigate the association between preeclampsia and ASD, with data on over 2.8 million births.
The apparent preeclampsia/SGA‐ASD relationship suggests that placental pathology may be a common factor increasing the likelihood of ASD. Further research is needed to investigate the role that maternal inflammation may play, as well as the potential impact of pharmacological treatments used during pregnancy on likelihood of ASD.
FULL PAPER HERE: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.13127