Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 95–102 | Cite as

Association Between Maternal Obesity and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Offspring: A Meta-analysis

  • Ya-Min Li
  • Jian-Jun Ou
  • Li Liu
  • Dan Zhang
  • Jing-Ping Zhao
  • Si-Yuan TangEmail author
Original Paper


As the link between maternal obesity and risk of autism among offspring is unclear, the present study assessed this association. A systematic search of an electronic database was performed to identify observational studies that examined the association between maternal obesity and autism. The outcome measures were odds ratios comparing offspring autism risk between obese and normal-weight mothers. Five observational studies were included in the meta-analysis. A fixed-effects model was used since low heterogeneity was observed between studies. The pooled adjusted odds ratio was 1.47 (95 % CI 1.24–1.74). The meta-analysis results support an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children of women who were obese during pregnancy. However, further study is warranted to confirm these results.


Maternal obesity Autism spectrum disorder Offspring Meta-analysis 


Author Contributions

Ya-Min Li and Si-Yuan Tang conceived and designed the experiments. Jian-Jun Ou, Li Liu and Dan Zhang performed the experiments. Ya-Min Li, Jing-Ping Zhao and Si-Yuan Tang analyzed the data. Ya-Min Li and Jian-Jun Ou contributed software, hardware and analysis tools. Ya-Min Li, Jing-Ping Zhao and Si-Yuan Tang wrote the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Research Involving Human Participants and/or Animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ya-Min Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian-Jun Ou
    • 1
  • Li Liu
    • 2
  • Dan Zhang
    • 2
  • Jing-Ping Zhao
    • 1
  • Si-Yuan Tang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Second Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Xiangya Nursing SchoolCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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