CDC and collaborators release new findings on autism from the Study to Explore Early Development

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with research partners, has released new findings on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and birth spacing in the journal Autism Research.

Researchers found that children conceived less than 18 months or 60 or more months after their mother’s previous birth were more likely to have ASD.

Additionally, these relationships were found to be stronger among children who had a high level of ASD symptoms, as measured on an in-person developmental assessment.

This study used data from the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), the largest study in the United States to help identify factors that may put children at risk for ASD. Researchers examined potential causes for these findings, and recommended areas for future study.

The findings from this study are important for healthcare providers, and can help inform clinical recommendations on optimal pregnancy spacing. Couples thinking about pregnancy should discuss pregnancy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider.

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