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Autism And Diabetes

The Association Of Maternal Obesity And Diabetes With Autism And Other Developmental Disabilities

The Association Of Maternal Obesity And Diabetes With Autism And Other Developmental Disabilities

Abstract BACKGROUND: Obesity and diabetes are highly prevalent among pregnant women in the United States. No study has examined the independent and combined effects of maternal prepregnancy obesity and maternal diabetes on the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in parallel with other developmental disorders (DDs). METHODS: This study is based on 2734 children (including 102 ASD cases), a subset of the Boston Birth Cohort who completed at least 1 postnatal study visit at Boston Medical Center between 1998 and 2014. Child ASD and other DDs were based on physician diagnoses as documented in electronic medical records. Risks of ASD and other DDs were compared among 6 groups defined by maternal prepregnancy obesity and diabetes status by using Cox proportional hazard regression controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: When examined individually, maternal prepregnancy obesity and pregestational diabetes (PGDM) were each associated with risk of ASD. When examined in combination, only mothers with obesity and PGDM (hazard ratio 3.91, 95% confidence interval 1.76–8.68) and those with obesity and gestational diabetes (hazard ratio 3.04, 95% confidence interval 1.21–7.63) had a significantly increased risk of offspring ASD. Intellectual disabilities (IDs), but not other DDs, showed a similar pattern of increased risk associated with combined obesity and PGDM. This pattern of risk was mostly accounted for by cases with co-occurring ASD and ID. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal prepregnancy obesity and maternal diabetes in combination were associated with increased risk for ASD and ID. ASD with ID may be etiologically distinct from ASD without ID. Abbreviations: ADHD — attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder ASD — autism spectrum disorder BBC — Boston Birth Cohort BMC — Continue reading >>

Autism May Share Risk Factors With Diabetes

Autism May Share Risk Factors With Diabetes

Teenagers and young adults with autism are about three times more likely than those without the condition to develop type 2 diabetes, according to one of the largest studies of autism and diabetes to date1. The findings, published in March in Diabetes Care, add to mounting evidence that people with autism face a long list of chronic health problems. Type 2 diabetes, which often goes hand-in-hand with obesity — associated with a subset of autism cases — can lead to heart disease and stroke, as well as nerve and kidney damage. “We really need effective interventions for these adolescents and young adults to turn the tide and hopefully prevent the development of type 2 diabetes,” says Meredith Dreyer Gillette, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who was not involved in the study. About 32 percent of young children with autism are overweight and 16 percent are obese, compared with 23 percent and 10 percent of typically developing children, respectively2. Certain genetic risk factors for autism, such as deletions on chromosome 16, are also tied to weight problems. Women who are obese or have diabetes while pregnant are more likely to have children with autism. The prevalence of diabetes among individuals with autism, however, has been less clear. A study last year found an increased risk of diabetes — as well as many other chronic health problems — among adults with autism, possibly stemming from a lack of access to preventive care3. Diabetes data: To probe this link more deeply, a team of researchers in Taiwan identified 6,122 adolescents and young adults with autism and more than 24,000 controls with no history of diabetes in the country’s National Health Insurance Research Database. The researchers could not be reache Continue reading >>

Type One Diabetes And Autism: Tiny Battles

Type One Diabetes And Autism: Tiny Battles

Trey was born a fighter. Diagnosed with a significant Ventricular Septal Defect (a big hole in his heart) shortly after birth, hospital visits and medical specialists have always been the norm for him. But he fought that tiny little broken heart out his first few years and against all odds managed to fight off the open heart surgery we were told he would eventually have to have. He won enough of those tiny battles to finally establish his position on the pediatric growth chart and when he was 4 years old, the hole had finally shrunk enough for the surgery to no longer be necessary. Then without enough time to even catch our breath, when he was still four, along came the next fight…autism. It was always there, but he was in preschool (2006) when a teacher first uttered the dreaded “A word” and I felt that familiar punch to the stomach that came with the diagnosis of the heart condition. Our lives significantly changed forever again with one simple sentence. “Mrs. Boyers, I think Trey might have autism.” And he did. We always knew something was “wrong,” but didn’t know how to fight it until we knew what it was. And then we fought. HE fought. Hard. He went from a child with no legitimate words at the age of 4 to a little boy mainstreamed by the end of the second grade. AND a teenager who skipped the 8th grade because he was accepted into a special autism high school at the local college! Trey has always shined the brightest light from those big dark brown eyes and taken on whatever the world has thrown at him, full speed ahead. It was no different when he was diagnosed with T1D at age 13 in 2015. As our “normal” world crashed down around us again with yet another quick one-sentence punch to the stomach, there he laid in his hospital bed hooked up to a m Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes And Autism: Is There A Link?

Type 1 Diabetes And Autism: Is There A Link?

Response to Freeman et al. In a recent issue of Diabetes Care, Freeman et al. (1) discussed a possible link between type 1 diabetes and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their data suggested that the prevalence of ASD in nearly 1,000 children with type 1 diabetes may be greater than that in the general population. We investigated the presence of ASD in 5,178 children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age ≤14 years from the Prospective Childhood Diabetes Registry of Finland. Children with type 1 diabetes were born between 1980 and 2000. The data were linked to the nationwide Hospital Discharge Register (HDR) by the end of the year 2003 using the unique personal identity number that is assigned to all residents of Finland. We included autism, Asperger disorder, pervasive developmental disorder–not otherwise specified, Rett’s syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder in the diagnosis of ASD (2). We also linked the data of mothers of ASD cases to the HDR and reviewed hospital records in order to find out pregnancy and delivery complications related as potential risk factor for subsequent ASD in the child. Seven cases with type 1 diabetes fulfilled the criteria of ASD, giving a cumulative incidence of 1.35/1,000 (95% CI 0.5–2.8). The cumulative incidence of ASD did not differ from that in the background population. The cumulative incidence of ASD was 1.39/1,000 (1.2–1.57) at age 18 years in northern Finland (3). There was male excess in ASD; five of seven cases were boys. Perinatal risk factors were present in five cases of ASD; some of them had several: asphyxia during delivery was present in two cases, umbilical cord around the neck in three cases, and excess bleeding during delivery in two cases, of which one had asphyxia and one had umbilical cord around ne Continue reading >>

Autism Risk And Maternal Diabetes With Obesity: What You Need To Know

Autism Risk And Maternal Diabetes With Obesity: What You Need To Know

Our experts provide perspective on new research linking diabetes and obesity during pregnancy with increased risk of autism In today’s Pediatrics, researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health report that they found a three- to four-fold higher rate of autism among children born to women who were both diabetic and obese during pregnancy. The findings raise many questions and concerns. To provide perspective, we talked with epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff and developmental pediatrician Paul Wang. Dr. Wang is Autism Speaks’ senior vice president for medical research. Mr. Rosanoff is Autism Speaks’ director for public health research. Q: Too often, this type of finding is taken as implying parents are somehow to blame for their children’s autism. Why would you urge against such an interpretation? Michael Rosanoff: Autism is a complex condition caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. By environmental, researchers mean a broad range of nongenetic influences including maternal health and conditions in the womb. No one environmental factor causes autism by itself. So when we say an environmental factor increases the risk of autism, we are not saying that it causes autism. In other words, not all moms who are both diabetic and obese will have a child with autism. In fact, the vast majority will not. Paul Wang: We welcome research that helps us identify some of the factors that increase the risk that autism will develop. But as Michael suggests, the vast majority of children exposed to these risk factors do not develop autism. Except in rare cases, it's not possible to say exactly why a particular child has the condition. Parents certainly shouldn’t blame themselves when the scientific understanding is so nebulous – and when so Continue reading >>

Maternal Diabetes And The Risk Of Autism Spectrum Disorders In The Offspring: A Systematic Review And Meta-analysis

Maternal Diabetes And The Risk Of Autism Spectrum Disorders In The Offspring: A Systematic Review And Meta-analysis

Go to: Methods We followed the guidelines in the meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology (MOOSE) statement (Stroup et al. 2000) when conducting this study. The study protocol was prospectively registered in an international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO, as CRD42012003373. Literature Search and Study Selection A systematic literature search was performed in the MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases through February 3rd, 2013, using a combination of free text and subheadings terms. Details of the search terms were shown in the Supplementary Text. In addition, the references listed in any relevant articles were screened. No language restriction was applied for searching or study inclusion. A published article was included if it had a case–control or cohort study design, evaluated the association between maternal diabetes and the risk of offspring ASD, and reported the risk estimates [relative risk (RR), or odds ratio (OR)] and corresponding 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) or standard errors, or provided sufficient data to calculate the risk estimates. Maternal diabetes herein includes GDM, pre-existing T1DM, and pre-existing T2DM. During the screening steps, several types of articles were excluded: review articles, editorials, or comments; studies on animals or cell lines; studies that did not evaluate maternal diabetes as exposure; and studies that did not include offspring ASD as the outcome. In addition, studies that did not report risk estimates or 95 % CIs for the relationships between maternal diabetes and risk of offspring ASD were excluded. The process of study selection is depicted in Fig. 1. Data Extraction and Quality Assessment Two investigators independently evaluated methodological quality in each study and ext Continue reading >>

“my Son Has Juvenile Diabetes And Autism.” A Mother’s Interview

“my Son Has Juvenile Diabetes And Autism.” A Mother’s Interview

The following interview is with Ammey, a mother whose children have multiple medical and cognitive conditions. Of particular interest to me is her situation with her oldest son, Khy, who has both juvenile diabetes and autism. Ammey responded to my blog, Do You Have BOTH Juvenile Diabetes and Autism in Your Family? Here is her story. 1. Tell us a little about your family. My name is Ammey, and I’ve been married for thirteen years to my husband Mikel. We have three children: Our son Khy is 14, Kaine is 11, and Lilli is four. Khy has autism, asthma, type 1 diabetes, VUR, and chronic migraines. Our son Kaine has pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD NOS) and narcolepsy. Lilli has asthma and whole body eczema. We laugh a lot in our house. Sometimes the literal interpretation of our boys’ comments creates very amusing jokes. The boys are phenomenal artists, and they draw all the time. Our home has a lot of pencils, paper, and erasers lying around. 2. Which diagnosis did your son receive first, and how old was he? What were the symptoms you observed? How did you handle the diagnosis? Khy was diagnosed with autism first, at the age of 8. He had very poor eye contact, repetitive behaviors like finger flicking, complex spinning, very narrow interests and echolalia. He was reading and drawing constantly by the age of 3. We were originally told he had Aspergers, and then they said it was autism. I felt speechless and frustrated. I missed the autism signs all those years, and so I blamed myself at first because he did not receive any early intervention. I dealt with my frustration by insisting he start whatever therapy he could at his age and worked hard with him on his deficits, focusing on his strengths. He became a regional center client and we were able Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes And Autism

Type 1 Diabetes And Autism

Updated: It has been 3 years since Justin was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He will have it for the rest of his life… there is no cure. There’s nothing we could have done to prevent it, and it has nothing to do with his diet. The few weeks leading up to his diagnosis was really confusing and kind of scary. We just thought he was sick. After diaper rashes that kept coming back that I couldn’t get to go away on my own, (plus weight-loss), we took him to the ER one weekend. I got the medicine for the rash (pretty much the same thing I’d be using anyway). Then doctor casually mentioned that I should get his blood sugar checked the next time we take him to his pediatrician. He said that it wasn’t a rush or anything… that we didn’t want over-stimulate him (he has been one of the few ER doctors who understood Autism and was trying to be helpful). But whenever we could, to get it checked out when he started feeling better. Well by the time I got home, I was more worried about his blood sugar than about him being overwhelmed and took him the next day. They did a blood sugar check and it was so bad that the machine just said “High”. It didn’t even give us a number just “high”. The doctor said that considering, I caught it early… but it could have gotten so much worse had waited too much longer. We went straight from the Pediatrician to the Driscoll Children’s Hospital two hours away. We didn’t get a chance to pack or prepare… and their Dad had to stay home to take care of Tyler. So for three days it was just me and Justin. Thankfully he was able to stop back up once with some provisions, but not nearly as much as we needed. Being away from home… away from his safe space, his routine, not understanding what was going on, where he was, or why he Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes: A Risk Factor For Autism?

Gestational Diabetes: A Risk Factor For Autism?

With commentary by Alycia Halladay, PhD, chief science officer of the Autism Science Foundation Women who develop gestational diabetes early in their pregnancy have a slightly higher risk of having a child diagnosed with autism, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The large-scale study of more than 322,000 children, found that women diagnosed with diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy were 42 percent more likely to have a child with autism. The risk is still very small, but significant, rising from a 1 percent risk (in this study) to a 1.4 percent risk. “Children born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at risk for diabetes themselves, obesity, and through this evidence, autism,” says Alycia Halladay, PhD, chief science officer of the Autism Science Foundation. The study did not find an increased risk of autism for babies born to women who were already diagnosed with diabetes before getting pregnant. This might be in part because women with diabetes who become pregnant have made lifestyle modifications that keep their sugar levels in check and may also be taking medications to control their blood sugar. Similarly, those diagnosed with gestational diabetes after 26 weeks (the third trimester) did not have an increased risk. The study authors speculated that being exposed to untreated high blood sugar during critical brain development early in the pregnancy may have contributed to the autism risk. “The authors suggest it could be the result of direct damage to the developing brain because of too much glucose or inflammation, which have already been associated with autism,” says Halladay. Combatting the risk Taking care to manage gestational diabetes by working closely with your obstetrician and other Continue reading >>

Maternal Obesity, Diabetes Tied To Increased Autism Risk In Kids

Maternal Obesity, Diabetes Tied To Increased Autism Risk In Kids

By Lisa Rapaport Mothers who are obese during pregnancy have almost twice the odds of having a child with autism as women who weigh less, a U.S. study suggests. When women are both obese and have diabetes, the autism risk for their child is at least quadrupled, researchers reported online January 29 in Pediatrics. "In terms of absolute risk, compared to common pediatric diseases such as obesity and asthma, the rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the U.S. population is relatively low, however, the personal, family and societal impact of ASD is enormous," said senior study author Dr. Xiaobin Wang, a public health and pediatrics researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. About one in 68 children have ASD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or about 1.5 percent of U.S. children. The study findings suggest the risk rises closer to about 3 percent of babies born to women who are obese or have diabetes, and approaches 5 percent to 6 percent when mothers have the combination of obesity and diabetes. Wang and colleagues analyzed data on 2,734 mother-child pairs followed at Boston Medical Center between 1998 and 2014. Most of the children, 64 percent, weren't diagnosed with any other development disorders, but there were 102 kids who did receive an ASD diagnosis. Compared with typically developing kids, those with ASD were more likely to be boys, born preterm and at a low birth weight. Mothers of children with ASD were likely to be older, obese and to have diabetes diagnosed before or during pregnancy. Maternal obesity was linked to a 92 percent increased risk for autism on its own, while diabetes diagnosed before pregnancy was associated with more than triple the risk. When women both had diabetes and were obese, the autism risk com Continue reading >>

Autism + Diabetes?

Autism + Diabetes?

We're always hearing the scary warnings that the rate of diabetes is increasing dramatically. Here's another scary statistic: 1 in 88 children is diagnosed with autism each year. April is National Autism Awareness Month, so we wanted to take some time to highlight not just autism, but the relationship between autism and diabetes... if there is one. If you're not familiar with autism (or "Autism Spectrum Disorder" known as ASD), it's actually a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning people diagnosed with it will have their condition manifest in different ways. From "high-functioning" autism, like Asperger's Syndrome, to "low-functioning" autism, which can leave people nonverbal, people with this disorder often have communication issues, behavioral issues, and sensory issues. Many with autism can have an unusual interest in repetitive behaviors, from schedules to activities to food. You all saw the movie Rain Man, right? About 40 percent of people on the spectrum have above average intelligence, yet about 25 percent are completely nonverbal. There isn't a lot of published information about diabetes and autism, and much of what we found was from effected families themselves. But often, folks living "in the trenches" are the best sources of information about what life with two chronic conditions is really like. Proof of a Type 1 / Autism Link? The first thing we wondered was whether or not there is any proven link between autism and diabetes, especially since the diagnosis of both conditions is on the rise. Many parents also wonder, sometimes because the families are dealing with both diabetes and autism, but not necessarily in the same child. The medical world does not seem consensus to offer. A 2006 study in Finland came to the conclusion that there is no link between autism and Continue reading >>

Autism And Type 1 Diabetes Connection

Autism And Type 1 Diabetes Connection

Nine years ago, when I was first consulting with obstetricians who specialize in high risk pregnancies to talk about my wish to get pregnant, not one of the three doctors whom I visited mentioned any connection between a mother having Type 1 diabetes and her child having autism spectrum disorder. I can’t blame those doctors; it is only in the last few years, as more research is being conducted to try and figure out the current autism epidemic, that such a link has been found. Autism is a complex neurological disorder that affects the connections between various regions of the brain, impacting a person’s ability to produce and process language and to read the nonverbal social cues that are an otherwise intuitive part of human communication. Autism is considered to be a spectrum disorder because it affects people in a range of ways, from most severe impairment to a more mild condition known as Asperger syndrome. Wherever a person falls on the autism spectrum, living with a neurological challenge is not an easy thing. My seven-year-old son was diagnosed with mild autism at age three. His diagnosis came after a few years of visiting different specialists who were investigating his speech delay. The first specialists we visited, along with our pediatrician who saw my son frequently, dismissed autism because of my son’s smiling and natural interaction with me. Now doctors know more — that children with autism easily relate to their loved ones and want to connect with others; it is not the desire to be isolated that makes people with autism engage in repetitive behaviors. Rather, that behavior comes out of seeking safety and soothing in a world that is too often too loud and confusing. I know this behavior well from when my son gets overwhelmed. Eventually we received Continue reading >>

Autism Risk Linked To Obesity, Diabetes Combination In Moms

Autism Risk Linked To Obesity, Diabetes Combination In Moms

MORE Children born to women with obesity and diabetes may have an increased risk of autism, a new study suggests. The children in the study who were born to women who were obese before becoming pregnant were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism by age 6, compared with those children born to mothers whose weight was normal before they got pregnant, the researchers found. And the babies born to women who had developed diabetes at some point before they got pregnant were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism by age 6, compared with those children born to women without diabetes. However, the children born to women with both obesity and diabetes showed the greatest risk. These kids were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism by age 6, compared with those children born to women who had neither obesity nor diabetes. The new study "highlights the potential that autism starts before birth, in utero," said study author M. Daniele Fallin, chair of the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. In the study, the researchers looked at the rates of autism and intellectual disabilities in about 2,700 children. The researchers also looked at the pre-pregnancy weights of the children's mothers and examined whether the women had developed diabetes before or during their pregnancies. The researchers gathered their data from medical records and interviews with the mothers. Of all the children in the study, 102 were diagnosed with autism and 137 were diagnosed with intellectual disabilities during the six-year follow-up period. [5 Things that Might Cause Autism] The researchers also found that the children born to women who had both obesity and diabetes also had an increased risk of intell Continue reading >>

Evidence Mounts For Possible Link Between Autism And Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes

Evidence Mounts For Possible Link Between Autism And Type 1 Diabetes And Type 2 Diabetes

While the causes of autism remain unknown, new evidence suggests that a child may be more likely to develop the condition if their mother had type 2 diabetes, was obese or had high blood pressure. Researchers from the University of California, Davis found a strong association between maternal diabetes and childhood autism, according to HealthDay News. They reported their findings at the International Society for Autism Research meeting, which was recently held in San Diego, California. Their findings came from analyzing data collected from 1,000 children who either had autism, suffered from another developmental disorder or were developing normally. "For mothers with at least one of the three conditions, their children had a 60 percent increased risk of autism and for developmental delays, there was a 150 percent increased risk," said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, deputy director of the Medical Investigations of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of California, Davis, according to the news source. Additionally, regardless of an official autism diagnosis, children of women with type 2 diabetes tended to have poorer expressive language skills than individuals born to healthy parents. The study is not the first to note a connection between autism and impaired metabolic function. A 2005 study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that young people with type 1 diabetes were significantly more likely to also be diagnosed with autism. The researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto speculated that a common autoimmune disorder may be behind the association between the two conditions. They said that their findings underscore the importance of understanding the connection between impaired metabolic function and type 1 diabetes. With a better understandin Continue reading >>

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