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Maternal Diabetes and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Offspring: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract

We performed a systematic literature search regarding maternal diabetes before and during pregnancy and the risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the offspring. Of the 178 potentially relevant articles, 12 articles including three cohort studies and nine case–control studies were included in the meta-analysis. Both the meta-analyses of cohort studies and case–control studies showed significant associations. The pooled relative risk and 95 % confidence interval (CI) among cohort studies was 1.48 (1.25–1.75, p < 0.001). For case–control studies, the pooled odds ratio and 95 % CI was 1.72 (1.24–2.41, p = 0.001). No indication of significant heterogeneity across studies or publication bias was observed. In conclusion, maternal diabetes was significantly associated with a greater risk of ASD in the offspring.

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Abbreviations

ADI-R:

Autism diagnostic interview-revised

ADOS:

The autism diagnostic observation schedule

ASD:

Autism spectrum disorders

CARS:

The childhood autism rating scale

CI:

Confidence interval

DSM-IV:

The diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition

ICD:

International classification of diseases

OR:

Odds ratio

RR:

Relative risk

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Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81172687) and the Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (No. 20110171110053). Dr. Wei Bao was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, USA.

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Correspondence to Jin Jing or Wei Bao.

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Registration: This review was registered at the PROSPERO as CRD42012003373.

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Xu, G., Jing, J., Bowers, K. et al. Maternal Diabetes and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Offspring: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Autism Dev Disord 44, 766–775 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1928-2

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy