According to researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control, babies born premature and with a low birth weight increases their risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
Boys, by far, outnumber girls in the general population of children with autism; however, based on these findings, physicians may see more equal numbers of cases of autism and girls.
Researchers found that children weighing less than 5 ½ pounds (2,500 grams) had nearly twice the risk of autism compared to babies being born within normal birth weigh ranges. In addition, babies born before the 33rd week of pregnancy were also twice as likely to develop the disorder, compared to full-term births.
To read more about the findings:
The March of Dimes is a valuable resource for expecting parents. Their mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature births and infant mortality. For more information, call the Northeast Division, located at 1255 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 2500, Allentown, PA 18103, at 610-439-7420.