Prevalence and Neonatal Factors Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Preterm Infants
ABSTRACT To determine the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) across gestational age, examine the risk of ASD by gestational age controlling for other risk factors, and identify potential risk factors in the neonatal intensive care unit.
A retrospective cohort of infants born at ≥24 weeks between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007 at 11 Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals (n = 195 021). ASD cases were defined by a diagnosis made at a Kaiser Permanente ASD evaluation center, by a clinical specialist, or by a pediatrician. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the association between gestational age and ASD as well as potential risk factors in the neonatal intensive care unit and ASD.
The prevalence of ASD in infants <37 weeks was 1.78% compared with 1.22% in infants born ≥37 weeks (P < .001). Compared with term infants, infants born at 24-26 weeks had an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for a diagnosis of ASD of 2.7 (95% CI 1.5-5.0). Infants born at 27-33 weeks (adjusted HR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.8) and 34-36 weeks (adjusted HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.4) were also at increased risk. High frequency ventilation and intracranial hemorrhage were associated with ASD in infants < 34 weeks.
ASD was ∼3 times more prevalent in infants <27 weeks compared with term infants. Each week of shorter gestation was associated with an increased risk of ASD. High frequency ventilation and intracranial hemorrhage were associated with ASD among infants <34 weeks.
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ABSTRACT: To assess the prevalence of positive screens using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) questionnaire and follow-up interview in late and moderately preterm (LMPT; 32-36 weeks) infants and term-born controls. Population-based prospective cohort study of 1130 LMPT and 1255 term-born infants. Parents completed the M-CHAT questionnaire at 2-years corrected age. Parents of infants with positive questionnaire screens were followed up with a telephone interview to clarify failed items. The M-CHAT questionnaire was re-scored, and infants were classified as true or false positives. Neurosensory, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes were assessed using parent report. Parents of 634 (57%) LMPT and 761 (62%) term-born infants completed the M-CHAT questionnaire. LMPT infants had significantly higher risk of a positive questionnaire screen compared with controls (14.5% vs 9.2%; relative risk [RR] 1.58; 95% CI 1.18, 2.11). After follow-up, significantly more LMPT infants than controls had a true positive screen (2.4% vs 0.5%; RR 4.52; 1.51, 13.56). This remained significant after excluding infants with neurosensory impairments (2.0% vs 0.5%; RR 3.67; 1.19, 11.3). LMPT infants are at significantly increased risk for positive autistic screen. An M-CHAT follow-up interview is essential as screening for autism spectrum disorders is especially confounded in preterm populations. Infants with false positive screens are at risk for cognitive and behavioral problems. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of Pediatrics 12/2014; 166(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.10.053 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the profile of specific neonatal morbidities in children later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and to compare this profile with the profile of children with hyperkinetic disorder, cerebral palsy, epilepsy or intellectual disability. This is a Danish population based cohort study, including all children born in Denmark from 1994, through 2010, and surviving the first year of life. Children with ASD as a whole have significantly elevated rates of a range of neurologic, respiratory, inflammatory, and metabolic problems in the neonatal period compared to the general population, but there are few if any indicators of a distinctive neonatal morbidity profile in ASD compared to other neurodevelopmental outcomes.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2408-7 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Preterm children seem to be at increased risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Parents of 157 children with birth weights less than 1,500 g (age 2 years, corrected for prematurity; 88 boys, 69 girls) completed screening questionnaires. The screening battery included the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), Communication and Symbolic Behavior Scales Developmental Profile Infant-Toddler Checklist (CSBS-DP-ITC), and the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP). Children with disabilities were excluded. All children who screened positive on any of the screening tools were subsequently assessed by clinical examination including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Fifty-six children (35.7%) screened positive on at least one of the parental screening questionnaires. Of the 56 children who tested positive, 33 participated in the detailed clinical follow-up assessment. A diagnosis of ASD was confirmed in 13 of the 33 children. The ASD prevalence was 9.7% of the sample. Analysis of children with and without an ASD diagnosis found significant differences relative to gestational age (26.9 weeks vs 28.3 weeks, P=0.033) and length of the stay in hospital (89.5 days vs 75.4 days, P=0.042). The screening tool with the most positive results was CSBS-DP-ITC (42 positive screens [PS]), followed by M-CHAT (28 PS), and ITSP (22 PS). Differences in the frequency of PS among the tests were significant (P=0.008). CSBS-DP-ITC had the highest sensitivity (0.846), followed by M-CHAT (0.692) and ITSP (0.462). Our results indicate a higher prevalence of autism in children with birth weights <1,500 g at 2 years of age compared to the general population prevalence. The ASD diagnosis was associated with shorter gestation times and longer hospital stays. Our findings support the simultaneous use of more than one screening tests in order to increase screening sensitivity.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2014; 10:2201-2208. DOI:10.2147/NDT.S72921 · 2.15 Impact Factor