Too little space and too much gap in between pregnancies linked to autism

Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner


 Emobileclinic Reporter: Dr. Tomi Orungbe

Too little space and too much gap in between a pregnancy and the next one is associated to autism. According to the WHO researcher Dr.Agustin Conde-Agudelo,”it appears that the ideal interpregnancy interval ,the time elapsed between the birth of the immediate older sibling and the conception of the younger sibling is 2 to 5 years, in order to reduce the risk of autism”.

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Autism is a brain disorder that incapacitated communication and ability to relate to others. It’s also called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDS).It comes in early life of the child and aggravates from mild to severe as he grows. According to WHO, it affects 1 in every 160 children and boys are more affected.

The study examined over 1.1m children to be able to come to this conclusion. The author however did not find the reason behind these differences but noticed that less than 12 months gap in between pregnancies is not only detrimental to the child but to the health of the mother.

As seen in the study the risk is twice high when compared to those with 3 years gap. Apart from the risk of autism ,the study equally observed that muscle coordination, body movement and balance were affected in pregnancies of 12 months below interval .

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This risk was also found higher in the above 5 years gapping pregnancies. The children in these category were affected with a type of autism known as Asperger Syndrome with other neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy among others. The researchers feel the role of nutrients in pregnancy is another important determinant most especially folic acid and vitamin B.



Agustin Conde-Agudelo, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., researcher, World Health Organization, Pediatrics Journal
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