Children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism, highlighting the importance of studying environmental risk factors during pregnancy.
Parental asthma and risk of autism spectrum disorder in offspring: a population and family-based case-control study
Gong T, Lundholm C, Rejno G, et al. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2019 Feb 11.
This large observational study reports that children of mothers with asthma are at increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study looked at all children born in Sweden between 1992 and 2007, including almost 23,000 children with ASD. The researchers posit that maternal immune activation during pregnancy may represent a biological mechanism explaining the association. The increased ASD risk could not be explained by socioeconomic, demographic, or genetic factors, underscoring “the importance of investigating other maternal environmental factors.”