Navigation Links
Women Abused in Childhood at Higher Odds of Having Child With Autism: Study
Date:3/20/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women who were physically, emotionally or sexually abused as children are more likely to have a child with autism, a new study suggests.

For women who suffered the most severe abuse, the risk more than tripled, the researchers found.

"This is a completely new risk factor for autism," said lead investigator Andrea Roberts, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health.

"Child abuse has a horrible effect on individuals who experience it, but the effects might reach across generations," she said. "The more abuse a woman had been exposed to in her own childhood, the more likely she was to have a child with autism."

Even women who experienced moderate levels of abuse were 60 percent more likely to have a child with autism, she added.

Although this increased risk seems high, the absolute risk of autism associated with a mother's exposure to abuse in childhood is very low, Roberts said.

In women who were not abused as children, fewer than one in 100 of those children had autism. Among women exposed to the highest level of abuse, two in 100 of their children had autism. "So, most of their kids don't have autism," she said.

Roberts cautioned that these findings only show an association.

"We can't assert cause-and-effect," she said. "The puzzle is to figure out what could be causing this association."

Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, agreed that the unanswered question is how a mother's abuse might be linked to her child's chances of having autism.

"The association seems clear. What is not clear is why it's there," he said.

The report was published online March 20 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report that found that 2 percent of children in the United States have autism, which is an increase from 2007, when the prevalence was 1.16 percent.

Interestingly, the same 2 percent prevalence of autism is exactly what Roberts found for the children of women who had been abused in childhood.

Roberts' team collected data on more than 50,000 women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II.

Although not many of these women experienced severe abuse as children, many were moderately abused, the researchers found.

In fact, only about 2 percent of the women said they had experienced severe abuse, yet even the women in the top 25 percent of those who experienced moderate levels of abuse had a 60 percent chance of having a child with autism, they noted.

To be sure abuse was a critical factor, Roberts' group looked at other risk factors known to be associated with autism, including diabetes during pregnancy, high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and smoking.

Although the abused women did have a higher risk of experiencing one of these other risk factors, it accounted for only 7 percent of their increased odds of having a child with autism, the investigators found.

The researchers speculate that the long-lasting effects of abuse on their immune system and stress-response system might be responsible.

Another expert, Dr. Roberto Tuchman, director of the autism and neurodevelopment program at Miami Children's Hospital Dan Marino Center, thinks the importance of this study is that it pinpoints another group of children who might be at risk for autism.

"The study has identified an at-risk population," he said. "This is a population we should be more aware of as being in need of early identification and intervention."

More information

For more on autism, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Andrea Roberts, Ph.D., research associate, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park; Roberto Tuchman, M.D., director, Autism and Neurodevelopment Program Miami Children's Hospital Dan Marino Center; March 20, 2013, JAMA Psychiatry, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Taller, Heavier Women May Face Higher Ovarian Cancer Risk
2. 62 percent of men and 37 percent of women over the age of 65 are sexually active
3. Obese White Women Shying Away From Colon Cancer Screening
4. Study: Women not getting enough exercise; at risk of developing metabolic syndrome
5. Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women
6. White Women Make Up Bulk of Assisted-Living Residents
7. Stress contributes to cognitive declines in women with breast cancer, researcher says
8. Women Less Apt Than Men to Get Recommended Daily Exercise
9. Overweight Pregnant Women at Higher Risk for Complications
10. Women With Older Partners More Often Admitted to Nursing Homes
11. Research shows efficacy of treatment model developed at Women & Infants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Women Abused in Childhood at Higher Odds of Having Child With Autism: Study
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published ... all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint ... Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts at Children’s National Health System ... Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Oct. 12-15. Chaired by ... and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and Stephen P. Hunger, M.D., Chief of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In the ... a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, ... retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... PHILADELPHIA , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces ... particle analysis system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in ... analyzes subvisible and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented ... use of the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  DarioHealth Corp. (NASDAQ: DRIO), a leading ... announced that its MyDario product is expected to appear on The Dr. ... The Dr. Oz Show airs in your area: http://www.doctoroz.com/page/where-watch-dr-oz-show ... The nine-time Emmy award-winning, The Dr. Oz Show ... The segment ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017 AVACEN Medical (AVACEN) ... is now successfully helping those with the widespread pain ... Fibromyalgia diagnosed Amanda in Essex, England ... washing my hair, experiencing no sleep at all, tremendous ... spasm… I cannot recommend [the AVACEN 100] enough, how ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: