Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Does Parental Obesity Influence the Risk of a Child Developing an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Most of us have probably not considered the role of increased parental BMI in being associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—and yet Suren et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-3664) certainly did in designing their research hypothesis for a study we are releasing this week.

Photo by Cade Martin, via the CDC
Using a sample of almost 93,000 children from a Norwegian data base used in the Norwegian Mother
and Child (prospective) Cohort Study, the authors looked at maternal pre-pregnancy and paternal BMI and the subsequent risk of a child developing an ASD.

While the study cannot claim any kind of causality, the association is a curious one that the authors speculate upon in their discussion, which makes this study fascinating to read and think about.

Let us know if you agree by responding to this blog in the comments section below, by sharing your thoughts via an eLetter on our journal’s website or through Facebook or Twitter.

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