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Study reveals obese, diabetic mothers at higher risk of having autistic babies

A study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that a child is more likely to be born with a developmental disorder, such as autism, if his/her mother is obese and diabetic.

The study, out of the University of California, Davis, found that mothers with Type 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes, specifically, were more than two times as likely to give birth to a developmentally delayed child.

The article entitled, “Maternal metabolic conditions and risk for austim and other neurodevelopmental disorders,” shared that over 1/3 of American women in their childbearing years are obese. Out of these women, approximately 1/10 have gestation or Type 2 diabetes during pregnancy.

According to MSNBC, researchers found that children born to obese women with Type 2 diabetes ran a 70 percent risk of having autism compared to those born to normal-weight mothers. The same article shared that in the same situation, a child’s risk of being born with some other neurodevelopmental disorder doubled.

The study, which ran from 2003 to 2010, involved 1,004 women and their babies from diverse backgrounds. It examined women with Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. The children studied were aged 2 to 5.

In general, over 60 percent of American women of childbearing age are overweight according to this study published in Pediatrics.


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