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Autism Linked to Babies Born at Low Weight

Study Shows Higher Risk for Later Autism Diagnosis for Low-Birth-Weight Babies

Low Birth Weight and Developmental Disabilities continued...

Halladay says this solid study strengthens the science behind the widely held belief that low-birth-weight children are at higher risk for autism. But more research is needed to determine the nature of that relationship.

Pinto-Martin agrees.

"It may just be a marker for the real cause," Pinto-Martin tells WebMD. "Just because you have a baby born with a low birth weight doesn't mean they are at risk for autism. There may be something that happened during their neonatal course, or it may be an infection in the mother both precipitated the early delivery and the autism.

"This is where the work really begins," says Pinto-Martin. "We have a really important clue now, and we need to look at how this helps us learn about specific causes of autism."

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