A  A  A   Print
Older Mothers at Higher Risk of Child With Autism, Study Suggests

Older Mothers at Higher Risk of Child With Autism, Study Suggests

TUESDAY, April 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of having a child with autism rises rapidly after women pass age 30, a large new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 417,000 children born in Sweden between 1984 and 2003. They found that women who gave birth before they were 30 years old had no age-related increased chance of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

However, the risk of autism among children born to mothers 30 and older increased quickly with the mother's age. The researchers also found that a man's likelihood of fathering a child with autism increases steadily with age throughout his life.

The study was published recently in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

People with autism display impaired social and communication skills. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

The study findings highlight the need for further research into how parents' age affects a child's autism risk. The results also suggest that a mother's age is an important factor, even though many recent studies have focused on fathers' and even grandfathers' ages, said study senior author Brian Lee, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at Drexel University, in Philadelphia.

Learning more about how parents' age affects a child's autism risk could help pinpoint preventable causes of the disorder, according to Lee, a research fellow at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

He also noted that the overall risk of having a child with autism is low, even among older women.

"The absolute risk of having a child with [autism] is still approximately one in 100 in the overall sample, and less than two in 100 even for mothers up to age 45," Lee said in a university news release.

The new study found an association between a mother's age and her child's autism risk; it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about autism.

SOURCE: Drexel University, news release, April 22, 2014

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.