Fever During Pregnancy May Increase ASD Risk Mothers exposed to fever during pregnancy had a 34 percent increased risk of their child developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry. Particularly during the second trimester, prenatal exposure to maternal fever was associated with a 40-percent increase in chances of offspring having ASD. ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   September 01, 2017
Fever During Pregnancy May Increase ASD Risk
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   September 01, 2017
Fever During Pregnancy May Increase ASD Risk
The ASHA Leader, September 2017, Vol. 22, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22092017.12
The ASHA Leader, September 2017, Vol. 22, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22092017.12
Mothers exposed to fever during pregnancy had a 34 percent increased risk of their child developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry.
Researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health studied 95,754 children born between 1999 and 2009 in Norway through the Autism Birth Cohort Study. Within the group of about 15,700 children born to mothers who had fevers, 583 cases of ASD were identified.

Particularly during the second trimester, prenatal exposure to maternal fever increased chances of autism spectrum disorder by 40 percent.

“Our results suggest a role for gestational maternal infection and innate immune responses to infection in the onset of at least some cases of autism spectrum disorder,” says first author Mady Hornig, associate professor of epidemiology and director of translational research at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Although none of the mothers who took ibuprofen to bring down fevers during pregnancy had a child with ASD, the study authors warn that this sample size is too small to draw reliable conclusions about the drug’s effect.
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September 2017
Volume 22, Issue 9