Study: Induced Labor May Be Linked To Autism

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Another code may have been cracked in how autism occurs in children: children that were born from labor induction or speeding up the birth with drugs were more likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study. The study conducted by Simon Gregory from Duke Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, found the education records of about 678,000 babies, where a note would indicate whether the children had been diagnosed with autism; they then looked into their mothers’ inducement of labor during childbirth. Women who had labor-inducing drugs were 23 percent more likely to have kids who were later diagnosed with autism. Correlation not being causation, though, the study does not prove that speeding up the labor process causes autism. Because there was no direct link found, medical procedures for inducing labor will not change. Additionally, other factors may contribute to autism in children, including a woman’s use of folic acid and epilepsy drugs during her pregnancy. For now, autism still remains a mystery. [Reuters; TIME] [Image of a pregnant woman via Shutterstock]

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