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Mom's Health While Pregnant Linked to Autism Risk

Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes During Pregnancy May Increase Autism Risk

Not Enough Evidence Yet?

Andrew Adesman, MD, says it is too early to connect the dots between autism and maternal health during pregnancy. He is the chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. "This study suggests that health conditions in pregnant women may pose some increased risks for developmental problems in children," he says.

"[But] we must resist temptation to look at the rising rates of these conditions and presume that there is a solid causality," Adesman says. "We don't know that the increase in autism is due to increases in obesity, hypertension, and diabetes."

That said, "pregnant women, for a multitude of reasons, are best advised to optimize their health, including weight, blood pressure, and glucose control."

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