THURSDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The odds of developing autism spectrum disorder (AuSD) are increased for children with congenital heart disease (CHD), according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Pediatrics.

Eric R. Sigmon, M.D., from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a 1:3 case-control study of children to examine the correlation between CHD and AuSD. Children with AuSD were identified as cases and were matched with controls based on date of birth, sex, and enrollment time frame. Medical records were reviewed for CHD lesions and associated procedures.

A total of 8,760 AuSD cases and 26,280 controls were included in the study. The researchers found that patients with CHD had increased odds of AuSD after adjustment for genetic syndrome, maternal age, gestational diabetes, short gestation, newborn epilepsy, birth asphyxia, and low birth weight (odds ratio, 1.32). Significant odds ratios were seen for specific lesions, including atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects (odds ratios, 1.72 and 1.65, respectively).

“We hope that this information will allow pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists to better care for children and counsel families regarding the expected developmental course for children with CHD,” the authors write.

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