Brief Report

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 2000-2005

First online:

Brief Report: Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brian K. LeeAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health Email author 
  • , Renee M. GardnerAffiliated withDivision of Metals and Health, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Henrik DalAffiliated withDivision of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Anna SvenssonAffiliated withDivision of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Maria Rosaria GalantiAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Clinical Epidemiology Unit at the Karolinska University Hospital
  • , Dheeraj RaiAffiliated withAcademic Unit of Psychiatry, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of BristolAvon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Mental Health Trust
  • , Christina DalmanAffiliated withDivision of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet
  • , Cecilia MagnussonAffiliated withDivision of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet

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Abstract

Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is suggested as a potential risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Previous epidemiological studies of this topic have yielded mixed findings. We performed a case–control study of 3,958 ASD cases and 38,983 controls nested in a large register-based cohort in Sweden. ASD case status was measured using a multisource case ascertainment system. In adjusted results, we found that maternal smoking during pregnancy is not associated with increased risk of ASD regardless of presence or absence of comorbid intellectual disability. Apparent associations were attributable to confounding by sociodemographic characteristics of parents such as education, income, and occupation.

Keywords

Autism Population register Smoking Sweden Tobacco