A quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

The Autism Research Review International is quarterly publication of the Autism Research Institute

Summer, 2016 | Number 3, Volume 30

Induced labor does not appear to raise ASD risk, large-scale study shows

Inducing labor does not appear to raise the risk of autism in children, according to a new study. 

Anna Sara Oberg and colleagues reviewed data on all live births in Sweden between 1992 and 2005. The researchers followed more than one million of these births through 2013 to determine which children received neuropsychiatric diagnoses. 

In addition, they analyzed records for the children’s siblings and maternal first cousins and evaluated factors pertaining to the mothers’ health. In their initial evaluation of unrelated individuals, the researchers detected an association between induced labor and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), similar to an association detected in a 2013 study. However, when they compared siblings discordant for induction (one sibling having experienced induced labor, while the other did not), the association disappeared.

The researchers conclude, “Our findings suggest that concern for ASD should not factor into the clinical decision about whether to induce labor.”


Citations

“Association of labor induction with offspring risk of autism spectrum disorders,” Anna Sara Oberg, Brian M. D’Onofrio, Martin E. Rickert, Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, Jeffrey L. Ecker, Catarina Almqvist, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lichtenstein, and Brian T. Bateman, JAMA Pediatrics, July 25, 2016 (online). Address: Anna Sara Obert, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115. 

—and— 

“Study fi nds induced labor not associated with risk for autism spectrum disorders,” news release, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, July 25, 2016.