Study Finds Link Between Induced Labor and Autism Diagnoses

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babyPregnant 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.

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  1. This is very dangerous.

    Years back a “study” showed a “link” between the MMR vaccination and autism.

    It turned out in the end that the “researcher” who published that study had a financial interest in a competing vaccine and had altered the subjects’ medical records to prove his point. The journal which had published that article retracted it.

    This episode lead to a growth in the popularity of the anti-vaccination movement which in turn has lead to and continues to lead to tens of thousands of preventable deaths.

    Therefore, I would humbly suggest that Matzav don’t actually post such things until such a time as they are definitively proven.

    Keep in mind that there are times where the correct medical practise is to induce/augment labour and to publish such an alarmist piece could lead to people refusing this when it is the correct thing to do, which could in turn have dire consequences such as birth defects etc.

  2. OK, but what good does this research.
    Induced labor is done for medical reasons, when waiting is too dangerous for mother, baby, or both, and is done to try avoiding cesarean section which carries even more risks. And on the other hand, there is no screening for autism and actually, no treatment either; so, the awareness of increased probability can not lead to proactive and effective monitoring, only to worries and heartaches.


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