Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 73–79 | Cite as

Prenatal and Birth Complications in Autism

Original Paper


Objectives: Prenatal and birth history as potential sources of risk factors in relation to the onset of autism were examined. Methods: A cohort of 164 families of autistic children referred to The Autism Center at New Jersey Medical School—UMDNJ, Newark, New Jersey, over a two-year period was studied. Intake prenatal and birth history information was obtained from each family and reviewed by a clinician. Results: Prevalence rates in this cohort for vaginal bleeding, prolonged labor and prematurity were higher than comparable rates reported nationally and in New Jersey. Clustering of multiple prenatal risk factors was observed. This clustering was associated with the age of the mother, but uncorrelated with birth order. Conclusions: These findings support the general hypothesis that systemic problems at the prenatal stage may form a distinct dimension of risk associated with autism.


Prenatal history Autism Risk factors Epidemiology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineNew Jersey Medical School - UMDNJNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyNew Jersey Medical School - UMDNJNewarkUSA

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