Smoking mothers more likely to have autistic kids

These Children Develop Autism Spectrum Disorder By 8

London: Ladies, here’s yet another reason to kick the butt — women who smoke during pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, according to a new study.

    “It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,” said lead author Amy Kalkbrenner from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

    “What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy,” she was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.

    For their study, the researchers looked at a population-based study comparing smoking data from birth certificates of hundreds of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism.

    They found that 13% of mothers whose children were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at the age of eight had smoked during pregnancy. These children were more likely to have high-functioning autism such as Asperger’s Disorder, which has a less severe impact. “The study doesn’t say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism. But it says that there is an association, between smoking and some types of autism,” Kalkbrenner said.


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