Maternal and Paternal Age are Jointly Associated with Childhood Autism in Jamaica

Division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences (EHGES), School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.06). 01/2012; 42(9):1928-38. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-011-1438-z
Source: PubMed


Several studies have reported maternal and paternal age as risk factors for having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), yet the results remain inconsistent. We used data for 68 age- and sex-matched case-control pairs collected from Jamaica. Using Multivariate General Linear Models (MGLM) and controlling for parity, gestational age, and parental education, we found a significant (p < 0.0001) joint effect of parental ages on having children with ASD indicating an adjusted mean paternal age difference between cases and controls of [5.9 years; 95% CI (2.6, 9.1)] and a difference for maternal age of [6.5 years; 95% CI (4.0, 8.9)]. To avoid multicollinearity in logistic regression, we recommend joint modeling of parental ages as a vector of outcome variables using MGLM.

Download full-text


Available from: Manouchehr Hessabi, Jul 15, 2014
23 Reads
    • "Information regarding the recruitment and assessment of study participants has been previously reported. [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] The inclusion criteria for all children in JAP required that each child must be born in Jamaica and be between 2 and 8 years of age at the time of enrollment. TD control children were identified from schools and well-child clinics. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Lead is a heavy metal known to be detrimental to neurologic, physiologic, and behavioral health of children. Previous studies from Jamaica reported that mean lead levels in soil are four times that of lead levels in some other parts of the world. Other studies detected lead levels in fruits and root vegetables, which were grown in areas with lead contaminated soil. In this study, we investigate environmental factors associated with blood lead concentrations in Jamaican children. The participants in this study comprised 125 typically developing (TD) children (ages 2-8 years) who served as controls in an age- and sex-matched case-control study that enrolled children from 2009-2012 in Jamaica. We administered a questionnaire to assess demographic and socioeconomic information as well as potential exposures to lead through food. Using General Linear Models (GLMs), we identified factors associated with blood lead concentrations in Jamaican children. The geometric mean blood lead concentration (GMBLC) in the sample of children in this study was 2.80 μg dL(-1). In univariable GLM analyses, GMBLC was higher for children whose parents did not have education beyond high school compared to those whose parents had attained this level (3.00 μg dL(-1) vs. 2.31 μg dL(-1); P = 0.05), children living near a high traffic road compared to those who did not (3.43 μg dL(-1) vs. 2.52 μg dL(-1); P < 0.01), and children who reported eating ackee compared to those who did not eat this fruit (2.89 μg dL(-1) vs. 1.65 μg dL(-1); P < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, living near a high traffic road was identified as an independent risk factor for higher adjusted GMBLC (3.05 μg dL(-1) vs. 2.19 μg dL(-1); P = 0.01). While our findings indicate that GMBLC in Jamaican children has dropped by at least 62% during the past two decades, children living in Jamaica still have GMBLC that is twice that of children in more developed countries. In addition, we have identified significant risk factors for higher blood lead concentrations in Jamaican children. We believe increasing awareness among parents regarding these risk factors could potentially lead to a lower level of lead exposure in Jamaican children.
    Journal of Environmental Science and Health Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances & Environmental Engineering 05/2015; 50(6):529-39. DOI:10.1080/10934529.2015.994932 · 1.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Another difficulty in the assessment of the role of cooking water sources in determining blood arsenic concentrations is its high correlation with sources of water for drinking. In order to avoid multicollinearity (Rahbar et al., 2012b) due to a high correlation between sources of drinking and cooking water, we only kept source of drinking water in our final GLM that assessed factors associated with blood arsenic concentrations. We recognize that this does not mean that source of cooking water does not have any role in blood arsenic concentrations. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Arsenic is a toxic metal with harmful effects on human health, particularly on cognitive function. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders manifesting in infancy or early childhood. We used data from 130 children between 2 and 8 years (65 pairs of ASD cases with age- and sex-matched control), to compare the mean total blood arsenic concentrations in children with and without ASDs in Kingston, Jamaica. Based on univariable analysis, we observed a significant difference between ASD cases and controls (4.03 μg/L for cases vs. 4.48 μg/L for controls, P<0.01). In the final multivariable General Linear Model (GLM), after controlling for car ownership, maternal age, parental education levels, source of drinking water, consumption of "yam, sweet potato, or dasheen", "carrot or pumpkin", "callaloo, broccoli, or pak choi", cabbage, avocado, and the frequency of seafood consumption per week, we did not find a significant association between blood arsenic concentrations and ASD status (4.36 μg/L for cases vs. 4.65 μg/L for controls, P=0.23). Likewise, in a separate final multivariable GLM, we found that source of drinking water, eating avocado, and eating "callaloo, broccoli, or pak choi" was significantly associated with higher blood arsenic concentrations (all three P<0.05). Based on our findings, we recommend assessment of arsenic levels in water, fruits, and vegetables, as well as increased awareness among the Jamaican population regarding potential risks for various exposures to arsenic.
    Science of The Total Environment 07/2012; 433:362-70. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.085 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mercury is a toxic metal shown to have harmful effects on human health. Several studies have reported high blood mercury concentrations as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), while other studies have reported no such association. The goal of this study was to investigate the association between blood mercury concentrations in children and ASDs. Moreover, we investigated the role of seafood consumption in relation to blood mercury concentrations in Jamaican children. Based on data for 65 sex- and age-matched pairs (2-8 years), we used a General Linear Model to test whether there is an association between blood mercury concentrations and ASDs. After controlling for the child's frequency of seafood consumption, maternal age, and parental education, we did not find a significant difference (P = 0.61) between blood mercury concentrations and ASDs. However, in both cases and control groups, children who ate certain types of seafood (i.e., salt water fish, sardine, or mackerel fish) had significantly higher (all P < 0.05) geometric means blood mercury concentration which were about 3.5 times that of children living in the US or Canada. Our findings also indicate that Jamaican children with parents who both had education up to high school are at a higher risk of exposure to mercury compared to children with at least one parent who had education beyond high school. Based on our findings, we recommend additional education to Jamaican parents regarding potential hazards of elevated blood mercury concentrations, and its association with seafood consumption and type of seafood.
    Neurotoxicity Research 04/2012; 23(1). DOI:10.1007/s12640-012-9321-z · 3.54 Impact Factor
Show more