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hyperemesis gravidarum and autism spectrum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum Associated With Higher Risk of Autism

In October 2019, Darios Getahun and his research team in Department of Research and Evaluation Kaiser Permanente in Southern California revealed the outcomes of a study which depicted clear association between hyperemesis gravidarum( HG)- a severe form of a morning sickness- during the first two trimesters of pregnancy and higher risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, 53%. Based on the investigators study during 2008-2014 on nearly 500,000 pregnant women and their children, exposure to hyperemesis gravidarum associate with risk of ASD regardless of the severity of the mother’s hyperemesis gravidarum. This finding is consistent with the previous reports and provides additional evidence that the intrauterine environment has a significant impact on ASD risk. Researchers noted that” Women experiencing HG often have poor nutritional intake and are dehydrated, creating conditions that are functionally similar to famine and may affect development in a similar manner”. Increasingly, It was hypothesized that the effect of HG on ASD is highly depend on the timing of fetal exposure to HG. “This study is important because it suggests that children born to women with hyperemesis may be at an increased risk of autism,” said lead study author Darios Getahun. Awareness of this association may create the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention in children at risk of autism.”
Darios Getahun et al., Am J Perinatol, October 3, 2019 DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1696670