Pregnant women who have procedures to induce or encourage labor might have an increased risk of bearing a child with autism, according to a new study.
Researchers at Duke University and the University of Michigan who conducted the study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, said it doesn’t prove that induced and/or augmented labor causes autism. Instead, it suggests that a link exists between the circumstances surrounding these delivery procedures and autism diagnosis in childhood.
The researchers don’t suggest any change in medical practices based on their findings.
Both induction and augmentation have seen a significant rise in popularity, according to the most recent numbers available from the National Vital Statistics Reports. In 2010, 23.4% of deliveries were induced, an increase from 9.5% in the early 1990s. Data from 2002, the most recent available, show 17.3% of deliveries were augmented that year; only 10.9% were in 1989.
Read more at The Wall Street Journal.