The Risk of Autism and Advancing Age

September 18, 2007

imagesjkl.jpgWhy am I talking about a Pediatric disease here?  Well… forgive me but Autism is one condition that I see more frequently than before and I consider pretty common among the kids of my friends.  So am wondering what could trigger such a behavioral abnormality. Are there reasons for it?

One study that I read looked at one possible scenario i.e., to look at  the risk of autism with advancing age of parents.  Sounds interesting and intriguing! I find it interesting because remember, as our goals in life get bigger, we tend to postpone our dreams of having a family.  And by the time, we decide to have a family of our own, we have reach an age that may in itself be a risk factor to develop some problems with regard to the baby.

Let me share with you the results of the study published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in 2007: 

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Design:  Historical birth cohort study.

Setting:  Kaiser Permanente (KP) in Northern California.

Participants:  All singleton children born at KP from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 1999, were included in the study. We identified 593 children who had Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification, code 299.0 or 299.8) recorded 2 or more times in KP outpatient databases before May 2005. These children were compared with all 132 251 remaining singleton KP births.

Main Exposures:  Maternal and paternal age at birth of offspring.

Results: 

  • Risk of ASDs increased significantly with each 10-year increase in maternal age (adjusted RR, 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-1.62) and paternal age (RR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.09-1.51).
  • Adjusted RRs for both maternal and paternal age were elevated for children with autistic disorder (maternal age: RR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.87-1.60; paternal age: RR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.06-1.69)
  • Associations with parental age were somewhat stronger for girls than for boys, although sex differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusion  Advanced maternal and paternal ages are independently associated with ASD risk.

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Lucky for me…all my babies are healthy.  But this study is just a reminder to all… that we cant have it all! 

If it’s your desire to succeed is in your business or in your work or in your family … and if that desire drives you to be better then there are always compromises.  And as long as you are willing to accept these compormises in life, then you are on to a fruitful and happy ending!

It is you who will decide what you desire to have that will make you what you will be… in life! And accept it! So guys… if you have the chance… dont postpone having  a family! It’s all worth it! and worth taking the risk!

In Life..There Are Always Risks!

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4 Responses to “The Risk of Autism and Advancing Age”

  1. Donna Says:

    I also noticed Doc that I have friends who go into fertility procedures and have multiple deliveries where one of the kids is autistic. Is there a relationship?

  2. Doc Gerry Says:

    That I really dont know. And I agree … I know of two friends who got autistic kids and both had triplets from fertility workup. Is there a relationship? A study needs to be done but nice observation.

  3. maxim Says:

    I am forwarding this to my friends who keep on postponing to have babies until such time that they really have so much money, Doc.

  4. Doc Gerry Says:

    yup…scary thought Max….


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