Low Maternal Iron May Be Autism Risk Factor

Rebecca J. Schmidt, M.S., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Public Health Sciences The MIND Institute School of Medicine University of California Davis Davis, California 95616-8638MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Rebecca J. Schmidt, M.S., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Public Health Sciences
The MIND Institute School of Medicine
University of California Davis
Davis, California 95616-8638

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Schmidt: Women who had children with autism reported taking iron supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding less often than women who children who were typically developing.  Mothers of children with autism also had lower average iron intake.


MedicalResearch: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Schmidt: Having lower maternal iron intake in combination with mothers who were over 35 years old at the time of pregnancy or who had metabolic conditions including obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure, was associated with the highest risk for the child to have autism.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Schmidt: Checking maternal iron status during pregnancy and breastfeeding and following iron supplement recommendations might be important for autism prevention, especially for certain mothers with other risk factors.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Schmidt: Other studies need to attempt to replicate these findings, and examine genetic susceptibility in combination with dietary iron intake.

Citation:

Maternal Intake of Supplemental Iron and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Rebecca J. Schmidt, Daniel J. Tancredi, Paula Krakowiak, Robin L. Hansen, and Sally Ozonoff
Am. J. Epidemiol. first published online September 22, 2014 doi:10.1093/aje/kwu208

 

 

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