One in 160 children around the world is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, little research is done on the environmental factors that may contribute to the risk of ASD. This study aims to investigate the association of induced and/or augmented births with the risk of ASD.
This epidemiological analysis included a total of 625,042 live births, including 5,500 children with exceptionality designation for autism. Whether the participants had an induced or augmented birth was considered, and the primary outcome of the study was autism confirmed by exceptionality designations.
Children born to mothers who were induced, augment, or induced and augmented exhibited an increased risk of autism, as compared with children born to mothers who received neither induction nor augmentation. In addition to ASD, children born to induced or augmented mothers also experienced adverse events related to socioeconomic status, maternal health, birth-related events, and pregnancy-related events and conditions. The findings also suggested that the effect of induced and/or augmented birth was more profound in male children.
The research concluded that induction and/or augmentation during childbirth was associated with an increased risk of autism diagnosis in childhood, with the effects being more profound in males.