Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 2000–2005 | Cite as

Brief Report: Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Brian K. LeeEmail author
  • Renee M. Gardner
  • Henrik Dal
  • Anna Svensson
  • Maria Rosaria Galanti
  • Dheeraj Rai
  • Christina Dalman
  • Cecilia Magnusson
Brief Report


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.


Autism Population register Smoking Sweden Tobacco 



This study was funded by a grant from the Stockholm County Council (grant no. 2007008). DR is supported by a clinical lectureship award funded by the Severn Deanery, Bristol, UK.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian K. Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Renee M. Gardner
    • 2
  • Henrik Dal
    • 3
  • Anna Svensson
    • 3
  • Maria Rosaria Galanti
    • 4
  • Dheeraj Rai
    • 5
    • 6
  • Christina Dalman
    • 3
  • Cecilia Magnusson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsDrexel University School of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Division of Metals and Health, Institute of Environmental MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Division of Public Health Epidemiology, Department of Public Health SciencesKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Department of MedicineClinical Epidemiology Unit at the Karolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Academic Unit of Psychiatry, School of Social and Community MedicineUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  6. 6.Avon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Mental Health TrustBristolUK

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