Obese? Chance of Birthing Autistic Kid Jumps 67%
Inflammation, high blood sugar during pregnancy could be a factor
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2012 6:34 AM CDT
Autism may be associated with obesity in pregnancy.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The shocking new autism research just keeps coming: A mother's obesity while pregnant may greatly boost the odds of having a child with autism, a study out today suggests. Compared to normal-weight study participants, those who were obese while pregnant were 67% more likely to have autistic kids and twice as likely to have kids with other developmental issues. Normally, the odds of having a child with autism are about one in 88; according to the study, obesity boosts those odds to one in 53.

One theory behind the possible link: The inflammation-related substances and high blood sugar found in an obese woman's blood may affect a fetus' brain. The AP cautions that it's one of the first studies to suggest such a link and certainly doesn't prove causation; many other factors, including genetics, are thought to be involved, experts say. Still, the data raises "quite a concern" given the fact that more than one-third of US women of child-bearing age are obese, researchers note.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
Apr 10, 2012 5:08 AM CDT
I'm not so sure about this. My sister was very overweight years ago. She had four kids and none of them showed the least sign of autism.
Apr 9, 2012 2:47 PM CDT
Inflammation is the cause of most, if not all, degenerative diseases. When inflammation is introduced into a fetal or infant brain, no telling what kind of damage it can do.
Apr 9, 2012 1:25 PM CDT
Nope, by God ... that's what it says. the article I saw this morning may have been an update, posted toDAY as opposed to late last night. I do NOT recall the figures in this article being in the one I saw.