Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Maternal age and autism risk for their children

According to this story on CNN, the journal Autism Research has published findings from a 10-year study of 4.9 million births in the 1990s that showed a link between autism and the mother's age at conception. Older mothers' kids have higher autism risk. Here's a snippet from the story:
In the latest study, researchers found that mothers over the age of 40 had 51 percent higher odds of having children with autism compared with mothers between the ages 25 and 29.
Here are the story highlights:
  • Study: Risk of having child with autism increases with maternal age
  • Prior studies indicate babies born to older women have higher risks of health problems
  • Autism rates up 600 percent over past two decades
  • Older mothers account for only 5 percent of autism increase
There's no doubt that the topic of autism has gained tremendous public interest over the past several years.We probably all know someone who has autism or a child with autism. What do we really understand about this condition and will we see a drug that can effectively "cure" autism? When it comes to autism, there are probably more myths and misconceptions floating around compared to accurate evidence-based information. As medical technology continues to get more advanced, what more will we learn about autism? Perhaps we'll find a way to prevent autism or even cure it in the future.

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