The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A U.S. study out this week has found that pregnant women who take drugs to speed up their labor may have a higher risk of bearing children with autism.

The study in JAMA Pediatrics is the largest of its kind on the matter, but stops short of stating that induced labor is a cause of the developmental disorder which affects as many as one in 88 children in the United States.

Instead, it points to the need for more research, said senior author Marie Lynn Miranda, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

“The scientific community has long looked for environmental contributors to the rising rates of autism in the United States,” she said in a statement. “This study provides preliminary evidence of an association between autism and labor induction/augmentation, especially among male children.”

The study examined records for 625,000 births in the state of North Carolina over an eight-year period, and found that labor that was both induced and augmented was associated with a 35 percent higher risk of autism in boys, compared with labor that received neither treatment.

A small increased risk was seen in girls born to mothers who had induced, but not augmented, labor.

Women may have their labor induced with drugs for a number of reasons, including a baby past its due date, or medical conditions like an infection, high blood pressure or diabetes.

Researchers said the higher risk linked to induction was similar to that seen in other known risk factors for autism, such as being an older mother or giving birth before 34 weeks.

Michael Rosanoff, associate director of public health research at Autism Speaks, said the “next step is for research to better understand the possible mechanisms behind this relationship.”

He added: “It is important to note that this study does not demonstrate a causal relationship between induced or augmented childbirth and autism, and that both have been shown to prevent complications during labor.”

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Fort Worth Police at the scene of a violent crime.

Photo by Brandon Harer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

If you're worried by the rise in violent crime — a real and troubling phenomenon — don't ask Republicans for solutions. All they can offer is a blame game that relies on dubious cherry-picked data. To get their message, just glance at Breitbart.com, the home of hard-right hackery: "Violent Crime Surges 25 Percent in 2021 With Democrats in Washington." You can find dozens of similar headlines across right-wing platforms, which invariably announce "skyrocketing crime rates in Dem-run cities." (Stay tuned for grainy video of a disturbing attack.)

Then there's former President Donald Trump himself, the loudest presidential loser in history, blathering fantastical statistics that are meant to show how dangerous life is in America now that he's gone.

Keep reading... Show less

GOP Senate Campaign Chief Blasts 17 Colleagues Who Support Infrastructure Deal

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) scolded 17 of his Republican colleagues on Thursday for helping Democrats pass "reckless spending." But as chair of the party's campaign arm, it's his job to get them re-elected.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close