Prenatal exposure to β2-adrenergic receptor agonists and risk of autism spectrum disorders
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This study aims to investigate the association between prenatal exposure to terbutaline and other β2 adrenergic receptor (B2AR) agonists and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The methodology used is a case–control study among children born from 1995 to 1999 at Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals. Cases (n = 291) were children with an ASD diagnosis; controls (n = 284) were children without ASDs, randomly sampled and frequency-matched to cases on sex, birth year, and delivery hospital. Exposure to B2AR agonists during 30 days prior to conception and each trimester of pregnancy was ascertained from prenatal medical records and health plan databases. The frequency of exposure to any B2AR agonist during pregnancy was similar for mothers of children with ASD and mothers of controls (18.9% vs. 14.8%, P = 0.19). Exposure to B2AR agonists other than terbutaline was not associated with an increased risk for ASDs. However, terbutaline exposure for >2 days during the third trimester was associated with more than a fourfold increased risk for ASDs independent of indication although the limited sample size resulted in an imprecise and nonsignificant effect estimate (ORadj = 4.4; 95% confidence interval, 0.8–24.6). This analysis does not offer evidence linking B2AR exposure in pregnancy with autism risk. However, exposure to terbutaline during the third trimester for >2 days may be associated with an increased risk of autism. Should this result be confirmed in larger samples, it would point to late pregnancy as an etiologic window of interest in autism risk factor research.
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- Prenatal exposure to β2-adrenergic receptor agonists and risk of autism spectrum disorders
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Volume 3, Issue 4 , pp 307-315
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
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- Beta 2 adrenergic agonist
- B2AR agonists
- Perinatal risk factors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA, 94612, USA
- 2. Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute, 707 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA
- 3. Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital/LADDERS Clinic, 1 Maguire Road, Lexington, MA, 02142, USA
- 4. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, 1505 Race Street-Mail Stop 1033, Philadelphia, PA, 19102-1192, USA
- 5. Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA
- 6. Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
- 7. Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA