"Cairo Air Pollution with less smog - Pyramids1" by Nina Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Heavy Exposure to Air Pollution During Pregnancy May Raise Air Pollution Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
"Cairo Air Pollution with less smog - Pyramids1" by Nina Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0Lief Pagalan, MSc

Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Research Trainee, Centre for Hip Health and Mobility
Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Pregnant women more heavily exposed to air pollution had higher chances of having children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The causes of ASD are not fully understood, but this study adds to the growing evidence that environmental risk factors have a role to play. Our study found an association between autism spectrum disorder in the children of women more heavily exposed to air pollution. We observed these results using well-defined cases of ASD and in Vancouver, Canada, which typically has lower air pollution. These findings are consistent with studies done in the U.S., Israel, and Taiwan, which have also found an increased risk of ASD from exposure to air pollution. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? 

Response: There is no cure for ASD, so prevention has an important role to play. Avoiding air pollution for pregnant is not easy because it’s all around us, and we should see this as a broader public health issue. In the long term, it’s about bringing down air pollution levels for everyone. 

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

Response: The causes of ASD are complicated and have many factors. Research into environmental risk factors is relatively recent, and more work remains, particularly on gene-environment interactions. 

No disclosures.


Association of Prenatal Exposure to Air Pollution With Autism Spectrum Disorder 

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Last Updated on November 16, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD