[Source: Yahoo News/Live Science]
A baby born into a family with an older sibling who has autism has a 19 percent chance of also developing the disorder, a new international study has found. Researchers previously estimated this sibling risk to be 5 to 10 percent.
For male infants, the new research showed, the risk is even higher, at 26 percent, and if a newborn has more than one sibling with autism, the risk is 32 percent. The study also analyzed the effects of socioeconomic status, birth order, ethnicity and parental education levels on autism risk.
“Some of what we found jibes with what has been found before,” said study researcher Gregory Young, a developmental psychologist at the University of California, Davis. “But nobody else has found such a high recurrence risk for siblings before.”
The findings suggest that younger siblings of autistic children should be screened early and often for signs of autism, the researchers said.
The new numbers were published online today (Aug. 15) in the journal Pediatrics.
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