Of course we’re not surprised to hear this finding, but it puts more attention on the health and mental health of the mother before, during and after pregnancy….A mother’s diabetes, hypertension or obesity during pregnancy may increase her child’s risk of autism and developmental problems.
Using data from a continuing case-control study of children in California, researchers found that compared with healthy women with a body mass index under 25, children of obese mothers or those with diabetes had more than double the risk of impairments in language, motor and social skills, and a more than 50 percent greater risk of autism. Hypertension was linked to an increased risk of developmental disorders, but only in combination with diabetes and obesity.
The study, which controlled for race, ethnicity, education and other factors, included 517 children with autism, 172 with developmental delays and 415 healthy controls. The report appears in the May issue of Pediatrics.