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Study: Flu in pregnant women causes higher risk for infantile autism

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CINCINNATI - New research suggests that women who contract the flu or fevers lasting more than a week during pregnancy may have a slightly higher risk of having a child with autism, according to a study released Monday.

A study cited in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, researched the link between the influenza infection and prolonged fevers in pregnant women with the risk of infantile autism.

The goal of this study was to determine the occurrence of common infections, febrile episodes, and use of antibiotics reported by the mother during pregnancy and the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and infantile autism in the offspring, according to information from the journal.

The study was conducted in Denmark and researched 96,736 children between the ages of 8 to 14 years who were born from 1997 to 2003.

The Danish Psychiatric Central Register diagnosed 976 children (1 percent) out of the study with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Results of the study showed little evidence that mild common types of infectious diseases during pregnancy were linked with ASD/infantile autism.

The data suggests that the influenza infection during pregnancy caused a twofold increased risk of infantile autism. To add, long episodes of fever caused a threefold increased risk of infantile autism.

To read the full study, click here: http:// pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/11/06/peds.2012-1107.abstract?sid=7dc5b6e6-b424-4558-be41-6181418538bc

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