Does induction of labor cause autism?
No study has shown that induction or augmentation of labor causes autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disorders that
includes autistic disorder, sometimes called autism , Asperger syndrome,
pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and
childhood disintegrative disorder. People with autism have a poor ability to
interact with other people socially and lack an interest in peer relationships.
People with autism may show little or no eye contact , delayed speech,
repetitive use of phrases or mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling
objects), and an intolerance to changes in their routine,
Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some families have a genetic
predisposition to autism. Areas of chromosome 15 and chromosome 7 appear to be
involved in some
individuals. Maternal metabolic conditions , increased parental age , prenatal
exposure to valproate, and air pollution have also been associated with an
increased risk for autism.
One study by
Gregory SG and coworkers that received much attention when it was published suggested that
“induction/augmentation during childbirth is associated with increased odds of
autism diagnosis in childhood.” Some critics pointed out that the
results of Gregory and coworkers study may have been due to an over diagnosis
of autism in the earlier years of the study. In addition , The Society for
Maternal-Fetal Medicine has pointed out that the type of study Gregory and
coworkers conducted cannot prove causation. There appears to be no disagreement
from the authors of the study on the latter point. They have stated “ We
did not examine or implicate oxytocin, nor did we conclude that labor
induction/ augmentation or oxytocin causes autism.”
1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
National Institutes of Health
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Epub 2013 Sep 23. No abstract available.PMID: 24071440
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