Study Shows that Fever During Pregnancy More Than Doubles Risk of Autism or Developmental Delay
[Source: Medical Xpress]
A team of UC Davis researchers has found that mothers who had fevers during their pregnancies were more than twice as likely to have a child with autism or developmental delay than were mothers of typically developing children, and that taking medication to treat fever countered its effect.
“Our study provides strong evidence that controlling fevers while pregnant may be effective in modifying the risk of having a child with autism or developmental delay,” said Ousseny Zerbo, lead author of the study, who was a Ph.D. candidate with UC Davis when the study was conducted and is now a postdoctoral researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. “We recommend that pregnant women who develop fever take anti-pyretic medications and seek medical attention if their fever persists.”
Published online in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, the study is believed to be the first to consider how fever from any cause, including the flu, and its treatment during pregnancy could affect the likelihood of having a child with autism or developmental delay.
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