Topic: Exposure to toxic elements during pregnancy raises your child’s risk of autism
Pregnancy brings along several challenges for a woman and it is very important to know each of the complications linked to the various phases of pregnancy so that the baby and mother both can be in a good health. Also, when a woman is pregnant she needs to be well informed about each of the lifestyle habits and their impact on the baby’s health. What did we mean when we said lifestyle habits and their effects on the baby’s health? It is basically what the mother is doing or eating on a daily basis and its effect on the growing baby.
Most women continue to do their daily activities even after testing positive for pregnancy. But, it is extremely important that a pregnant woman must make certain lifestyle changes as this can directly affect the baby’s health as well as increase the chances of pregnancy complications. Recently research has shown that children of the pre-school age-group, whose mothers were exposed to select toxicants, including metals, pesticides during gestation, are more likely to show autistic-like behaviour. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
In the recent study, the team of researchers measured the levels of 25 chemicals in blood and urine samples collected from 1,861 Canadian women during the first trimester of pregnancy. A follow-up survey was conducted with 478 participants, using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) tool for assessing autistic-like behaviours in pre-school children.
In the study result, the researchers found that higher maternal concentrations of cadmium, lead, and some phthalates in blood or urine samples were associated with increased SRS scores, and these associations were particularly strong among children with a higher degree of autistic-like behaviours.
Speaking to the media, lead author Josh Alampi from Simon Fraser University said, “The relationships we discovered between these toxicants and SRS scores would not have been detected through the use of a means-based method of statistical analysis (such as linear regression)”. The results of the study also noted that increased maternal concentrations of manganese, trans-Nonachlor, many organophosphate pesticide metabolites, and mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) were most strongly associated with lower SRS scores.
The researchers note that this study primarily “highlights the relationships between select environmental toxicants and increased SRS scores. Further studies are needed to fully assess the links and impacts of these environmental chemicals on brain development during pregnancy.”
Topic Discussed: Exposure to toxic elements during pregnancy raises your child’s risk of autism