Brief Reports

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 453-460

First online:

Brief report: A case-control study of obstetric complications and later autistic disorder

  • Elizabeth CryanAffiliated withDepartment of Child Psychiatry, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre
  • , Majella ByrneAffiliated withDepartment of Child Psychiatry, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre
  • , Ann O'DonovanAffiliated withDepartment of Child Psychiatry, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre
  • , Eadbhard O'CallaghanAffiliated withDepartment of Child Psychiatry, Cluain Mhuire Family Centre

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Abstract

The precise etiology of autism remains unclear. Obstetric adversity has been described as one factor that may increase the risk for the disorder. We examined the contemporaneous birth records of 49 children satisfying DSM-III-R criteria for autistic disorder, at four Dublin maternity hospitals, using the previous same-sex live birth in that hospital as a control. Data were evaluated blind to subject status using two obstetric complication (OC) rating scales. No significant differences in obstetric adversity were found between index and control groups. Autistic individuals did not differ from controls in terms of previously described risk factors for this disorder (maternal age, maternal parity, birth order, and low birth weight) in autism. These data do not support the view that OCs increase the risk for later autism.