Older Women More Likely to Have Autistic Kids
Women over 40 face double the risk compared to moms under 25
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2010 3:53 PM CST
Ashton Faller, 5, left, does some homework with his mother Lisa Faller, right, at the family's home in Everett, Wash., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Marcus R. Donner)
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(Newser) – Older mothers face an increased risk of giving birth to a child with autism, a new study says. Researchers analyzed all 4.9 million births in California in the 1990s and found that women who give birth over the age of 40 are 77% more likely to have an autistic child than mothers under 25, and 51% more likely than mothers between the ages of 25 and 29.

The researchers found less of a connection to the age of the father—if the mother was under 30 but the father over 40, the likelihood of autism increased 59%. If the mother was over 30, the age of the father did not correlate with incidence of autism, the Los Angeles Times reports. The researchers also said the recent tendency to delay becoming parents has contributed to the rise in autism diagnoses.