Friday, August 04, 2006

No Link Between Month of Birth and Autism

Study debunks birth season-autism link.

"...the season in which a person is born reflects their exposure to certain types of infectious agents in the womb. An example is whether their mother caught the flu during flu season. Nutrition could also vary throughout the year, he added.


[Dr. Abraham Reichenberg of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and colleagues] looked at Jewish men and women born in Israel during the early 1980s who were assessed by the Israeli Draft board at the age of 17. There was a total of 311,169 people, including 211 with autism or related disorders.

The researchers point out that a person with autism in the group they evaluated would be likely to truly meet diagnostic criteria for the condition, especially since the individuals in the study grew up in an era where the diagnosis of autism was much more rare than it is today.
The researchers found no link between the month a person was born and autism risk. "In light of the present and other recent findings, it would seem logical that future attempts to identify an association between birth months and risk for autistic spectrum disorders should be exercised with caution," they conclude.
SOURCE: American Journal of Psychiatry, July 2006."

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