Perinatal complications associated with autism--a case control study in a neurodevelopment and early intervention clinic.
ABSTRACT Early and intensive intervention can have a profound impact on the quality of life for children at risk for autism. Hence a high degree of suspicion towards babies exposed to known risk factors is warranted. Previous studies have shown that different perinatal factors like antepartum bleeding, postmaturity, birth asphyxia, meconium aspiration syndrome, anaemia in early infancy and exposure to toxins of various origins makes an infant susceptible to development of autism; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders in later life.This study aims to find out the association of perinatal risk factors in relation to development of autism spectrum disorders. All babies who are at least three years of age, attending the neurodevelopment and early intervention clinic at SSKM Hospital at Kolkata taken as cases. Age matched controls were taken from general paediatric OPD of the same hospital. After history taking, physical and neurological examination, developmental maturity was assessed by the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST) and Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS). A semi-structured parent's questionnaire and the modified checklist for autism in toddlers (M-CHAT) was used to screen for autism. Diagnosis was confirmed by DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fourth Edition, Text Revision) criteria. Significant correlation was found between presence of antepartum haemorrhage, pregnancy induced hypertension, preterm delivery and autism in the baby. Perinatal complications are important risk factor for autism. Knowing the risk factors will help clinicians to be aware of the avoidable complications, and to undertake either preventive steps or intense intervention to reduce the degree of disability.