For a study, preterm birth (<37 weeks) was linked to behavioral, cognitive, and mental health problems in infants. Preterm individuals were more likely to have higher rates of autism, suggesting that premature birth may have increased the risk of neurodevelopmental problems. The present meta-analysis sought to combine current literature and compute pooled prevalence rates for autism features in preterm populations. The terms were generated from a study of important high-impact papers, as well as a recent meta-analysis. Researchers examined 5 databases from database inception to December 2020, using PRISMA guidelines. A total of 10,900 papers were retrieved from the search engines; 52 papers were included in the final analyses, which were classified by assessing technique (screening tools N=30, diagnostic assessment N=29). When using screening tools, the pooled prevalence estimated for autism in preterm samples was 20% and when utilizing diagnostic tools was 6%. Individuals born prematurely had 3.3 times the likelihood of being diagnosed with autism as individuals in the general population. In individuals born preterm, the overall prevalence estimated for autism traits was substantially higher than in the general population. The researchers found that the majority of patients, especially those born prematurely, require further monitoring and assistance.

 

Link:jneurodevdisorders.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s11689-021-09382-1