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Maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders in childhood: A Danish national birth cohort study.

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      Abstract

      Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the most commonly used pain and fever medication during pregnancy. Previously, a positive ecological correlation between acetaminophen use and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been reported but evidence from larger studies based on prospective data is lacking. We followed 64,322 children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC; 1996-2002) for average 12.7 years to investigate whether acetaminophen use in pregnancy is associated with increased risk of ASD in the offspring. Information on acetaminophen use was collected prospectively from three computer-assisted telephone interviews. We used records from the Danish hospital and psychiatric registries to identify diagnoses of ASD. At the end of follow up, 1,027 (1.6%) children were diagnosed with ASD, 345 (0.5%) with infantile autism. We found that 31% of ASD (26% of infantile autism) have also been diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorders. More than 50% women reported ever using acetaminophen in pregnancy. We used Cox proportional hazards model to estimate hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confident interval (CI). Prenatal use of acetaminophen was associated with an increased risk of ASD accompanied by hyperkinetic symptoms (HR = 1.51 95% CI 1.19-1.92), but not with other ASD cases (HR = 1.06 95% CI 0.92-1.24). Longer duration of use (i.e., use for >20 weeks in gestation) increased the risk of ASD or infantile autism with hyperkinetic symptoms almost twofold. Maternal use of acetaminophen in pregnancy was associated with ASD with hyperkinetic symptoms only, suggesting acetaminophen exposure early in fetal life may specifically impact this hyperactive behavioral phenotype. Autism Res 2015. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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      Most cited references 33

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      Global Prevalence of Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders

      We provide a systematic review of epidemiological surveys of autistic disorder and pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) worldwide. A secondary aim was to consider the possible impact of geographic, cultural/ethnic, and socioeconomic factors on prevalence estimates and on clinical presentation of PDD. Based on the evidence reviewed, the median of prevalence estimates of autism spectrum disorders was 62/10 000. While existing estimates are variable, the evidence reviewed does not support differences in PDD prevalence by geographic region nor of a strong impact of ethnic/cultural or socioeconomic factors. However, power to detect such effects is seriously limited in existing data sets, particularly in low-income countries. While it is clear that prevalence estimates have increased over time and these vary in different neighboring and distant regions, these findings most likely represent broadening of the diagnostic concets, diagnostic switching from other developmental disabilities to PDD, service availability, and awareness of autistic spectrum disorders in both the lay and professional public. The lack of evidence from the majority of the world's population suggests a critical need for further research and capacity building in low- and middle-income countries. Autism Res 2012, 5: 160–179. © 2012 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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        Autism.

        Autism is a set of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions, characterised by early-onset difficulties in social communication and unusually restricted, repetitive behaviour and interests. The worldwide population prevalence is about 1%. Autism affects more male than female individuals, and comorbidity is common (>70% have concurrent conditions). Individuals with autism have atypical cognitive profiles, such as impaired social cognition and social perception, executive dysfunction, and atypical perceptual and information processing. These profiles are underpinned by atypical neural development at the systems level. Genetics has a key role in the aetiology of autism, in conjunction with developmentally early environmental factors. Large-effect rare mutations and small-effect common variants contribute to risk. Assessment needs to be multidisciplinary and developmental, and early detection is essential for early intervention. Early comprehensive and targeted behavioural interventions can improve social communication and reduce anxiety and aggression. Drugs can reduce comorbid symptoms, but do not directly improve social communication. Creation of a supportive environment that accepts and respects that the individual is different is crucial. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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          The familial risk of autism.

          Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) aggregates in families, but the individual risk and to what extent this is caused by genetic factors or shared or nonshared environmental factors remains unresolved. To provide estimates of familial aggregation and heritability of ASD. A population-based cohort including 2,049,973 Swedish children born 1982 through 2006. We identified 37,570 twin pairs, 2,642,064 full sibling pairs, 432,281 maternal and 445,531 paternal half sibling pairs, and 5,799,875 cousin pairs. Diagnoses of ASD to December 31, 2009 were ascertained. The relative recurrence risk (RRR) measures familial aggregation of disease. The RRR is the relative risk of autism in a participant with a sibling or cousin who has the diagnosis (exposed) compared with the risk in a participant with no diagnosed family member (unexposed). We calculated RRR for both ASD and autistic disorder adjusting for age, birth year, sex, parental psychiatric history, and parental age. We estimated how much of the probability of developing ASD can be related to genetic (additive and dominant) and environmental (shared and nonshared) factors. In the sample, 14,516 children were diagnosed with ASD, of whom 5689 had autistic disorder. The RRR and rate per 100,000 person-years for ASD among monozygotic twins was estimated to be 153.0 (95% CI, 56.7-412.8; rate, 6274 for exposed vs 27 for unexposed ); for dizygotic twins, 8.2 (95% CI, 3.7-18.1; rate, 805 for exposed vs 55 for unexposed); for full siblings, 10.3 (95% CI, 9.4-11.3; rate, 829 for exposed vs 49 for unexposed); for maternal half siblings, 3.3 (95% CI, 2.6-4.2; rate, 492 for exposed vs 94 for unexposed); for paternal half siblings, 2.9 (95% CI, 2.2-3.7; rate, 371 for exposed vs 85 for unexposed); and for cousins, 2.0 (95% CI, 1.8-2.2; rate, 155 for exposed vs 49 for unexposed). The RRR pattern was similar for autistic disorder but of slightly higher magnitude.We found support for a disease etiology including only additive genetic and nonshared environmental effects. The ASD heritability was estimated to be 0.50 (95% CI, 0.45-0.56) and the autistic disorder heritability was estimated to 0.54 (95% CI, 0.44-0.64). Among children born in Sweden, the individual risk of ASD and autistic disorder increased with increasing genetic relatedness. Heritability of ASD and autistic disorder were estimated to be approximately 50%. These findings may inform the counseling of families with affected children.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), California.
            [2 ] Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, UCLA, California.
            [3 ] Section of Epidemiology, The Institute of Public Health, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark.
            Journal
            Autism Res
            Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research
            1939-3806
            1939-3806
            Dec 21 2015
            10.1002/aur.1591
            26688372
            © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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