Science News
from research organizations

No association between mother flu in pregnancy, increased child autism risk

Date:
November 28, 2016
Source:
The JAMA Network Journals
Summary:
A study of more than 196,000 children found no association between a mother having an influenza infection anytime during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.
Share:
FULL STORY

No association has been found between a mother having an influenza infection anytime during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.
Credit: © Feng Yu / Fotolia

A study of more than 196,000 children found no association between a mother having an influenza infection anytime during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children, according to a new study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

The study by Ousseny Zerbo, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland, and coauthors included 196,929 children born in the health system from 2000 through 2010 at a gestational age of at least 24 weeks.

Within the group, there were 1,400 mothers (0.7 percent) diagnosed with influenza and 45,231 mothers (23 percent) who received an influenza vaccination during pregnancy. There were 3,101 children (1.6 percent) diagnosed with ASD.

The authors report no association between increased risk of ASD and influenza vaccination during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. There was a suggestion of increased risk of ASD with maternal vaccination in the first trimester but the authors explain the finding was likely due to chance because it was not statistically significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons.

The study cannot establish causality and has several limitations, including ASD status determined by diagnoses on medical records and not validated by standardized clinical assessment for all cases. Also, the authors could not control for other possible unmeasured mitigating factors.

"We found no association between ASD risk and influenza infection during pregnancy or influenza vaccination during the second to third trimester of pregnancy. However, there was a suggestion of increased ASD risk among children whose mothers received influenza vaccinations early in pregnancy, although the association was insignificant after statistical correction for multiple comparisons. While we do not advocate changes in vaccine policy or practice, we believe that additional studies are warranted to further evaluate any potential associations between first-trimester maternal influenza vaccination and autism," the study concludes.


Story Source:

Materials provided by The JAMA Network Journals. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ousseny Zerbo, Yinge Qian, Cathleen Yoshida, Bruce H. Fireman, Nicola P. Klein, Lisa A. Croen. Association Between Influenza Infection and Vaccination During Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. JAMA Pediatrics, 2016; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3609

Cite This Page:

The JAMA Network Journals. "No association between mother flu in pregnancy, increased child autism risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161128131702.htm>.
The JAMA Network Journals. (2016, November 28). No association between mother flu in pregnancy, increased child autism risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161128131702.htm
The JAMA Network Journals. "No association between mother flu in pregnancy, increased child autism risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161128131702.htm (accessed May 25, 2017).

RELATED STORIES