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Study links diabetes in pregnancy to higher autism risk

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When pregnant women develop gestational diabetes early in pregnancy, their children may face a higher risk of developing autism, researchers said Tuesday.

While the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) does not prove that diabetes in pregnancy causes autism, researchers said their findings highlight a link that deserves further study.

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Autism is a developmental disorder that affects as many as one in 68 children in the United States, and its causes remain poorly understood.

Gestational diabetes affects nearly one in 10 women, and is a high blood sugar condition that arises while in pregnant women who did not previously have diabetes.

The study spanned the electronic health records of more than 322,000 children born between 28 and 44 weeks at Kaiser Permanente Southern California medical centers between 1995 and 2009.

The children were followed for an average of five and a half years after birth.

Women who developed gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy had a 63 percent higher risk of having offspring with autism than children whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes.

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After accounting for factors such as maternal age, education, race and ethnicity and household income, the increased risk of autism associated with gestational diabetes was 42 percent.

There was no higher risk of autism in women who developed gestational diabetes later than the 26th week of pregnancy.

“The exposure of fetuses to maternal hyperglycemia may have long-lasting effects on organ development and function, but whether this can disrupt fetal brain development and heighten risk for neurobehavioral developmental disorders in offspring is less clear,” said lead author Anny Xiang of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

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“Future studies should address whether early diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes can reduce the risk of autism.”


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Giuliani’s potential witness tampering in Ukraine is impossible to separate from Trump: Judiciary Democrat

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) broke down how Rudy Giuliani's misconduct in Ukraine is "inseparable" from President Donald Trump's.

"To everyone who asks whether we are moving too quickly, I say the president's lawyer is moving quickly to continue to ask a foreign government to cheat our elections, and doing nothing is completely off the table," said Swalwell, who sits on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the two most crucial committees in the impeachment inquiry. "We have to secure our elections. We have powerful, uncontradicted evidence now. And now is the time to hold the president accountable and determine just which impeachment articles we should proceed with."

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Financial groups gave $745 billion for 258 new coal power plants: Report

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Financial institutions have chaneled $745 billion over the past three years to new coal power projects worldwide despite effort to reduce fossil fuel use to fight climate change, a report released Thursday said.

The amount was calculated using data covering both lending and underwriting between January 2017 and September 2019 for all 258 coal plant developers identified in the Global Coal Exit List, drawn up by the Urgewald and BankTrack groups.

Altogether, the report cites more than 1,000 new coal power stations or units in the pipeline.

"Most of the top banks providing loans or investment banking services to these companies acknowledge the risks of climate change, but their actions are a slap in the face to the Paris Climate Agreement," said Greig Aitken, climate campaigner at BankTrack.

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‘Why not cooperate?’ CNN’s Wolf Blitzer hammers Pence’s chief of staff over impeachment stonewalling

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," anchor Wolf Blitzer challenged Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff Marc Short to justify the administration's stonewalling of the impeachment inquiry.

"Wolf, the reality is that the last three years, they've been trying to overturn the will of the American people. They're trying to take away the votes of the American people," said Short. "This whole impeachment has been a sham. What they've tried to prove there is no proof of ... I think it sets a dangerous precedent."

"Here's what I don't understand," said Blitzer. "If the president has nothing to hide, it was a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine, why not cooperate, provide the documents, why not let individuals go before the committees and testify?"

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