• 14-APR-2015

  • SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association

Is there a Connection Between Gestational Diabetes and Autism?

April is National Autism Awareness month.  Although the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children is increasing, risk factors for ASD are still not well understood.  A new study examined whether exposure to maternal diabetes during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of ASD in children.

Researchers from California reviewed the medical records of more than 322,000 children born between 1995 and 2009, and identified the mothers’ diabetes status during pregnancy and also examined how many children were eventually diagnosed with ASD.

The study found that the children of mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes before 26 weeks of pregnancy had an increased risk of ASD. An increased risk of ASD was not observed in children of mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes after 26 weeks of pregnancy.  There was also no increased risk of ASD observed in children of mothers diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy, as well as those without diabetes.