More than 1% of American kids have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Other developmental issues are even more common, such as learning disabilities.
A new study in the journal Pediatrics shows that a mother’s health problems may be linked to her kids’ risk of developmental issues. Researchers included children who were 2 to 5 years old. Of these children:
• 315 were developing normally
• 517 were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder
• 172 showed signs of developmental delays
Moms who had diabetes, high blood pressure or were obese were 61% more likely to have a child with autism spectrum disorder. They were more than twice as likely to have a child with other developmental delays.
Obesity often goes hand-in-hand with diabetes. Both problems are common in Americans of child-bearing age. However, the lead researcher says, “This doesn’t prove that obesity is a cause of autism.”
Other factors that could contribute to obesity in mothers, including their genes or lifestyle choices, could play a role in their kids’ problems.
Still, this is yet another good reason for women in their child-bearing years to talk to their doctor before they become pregnant to find out how to go into their pregnancy as healthy as possible.