Article

Parental Autoimmune Diseases Associated With Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring

Department of aEpidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435, USA.
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.18). 11/2010; 21(6):805-8. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181f26e3f
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Autism spectrum disorders are often idiopathic. Studies have suggested associations between immune response and these disorders. We explored associations between parental autoimmune disorders and children's diagnosis of autism by linking Swedish registries.
Data for each participant were linked across 3 Swedish registries. The study includes 1227 cases and 25 matched controls for each case (30,693 controls with parental linkage). Parental diagnoses comprised 19 autoimmune disorders. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) using multivariable conditional logistic regression.
Parental autoimmune disorder was weakly associated with autism spectrum disorders in offspring (maternal OR = 1.6 [95% confidence interval = 1.1-2.2]; paternal OR = 1.4 [1.0-2.0]). Several maternal autoimmune diseases were correlated with autism. For both parents, rheumatic fever was associated with autism spectrum disorders.
These data support previously reported associations between parental autoimmune disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Parental autoimmune disorders may represent a critical pathway that warrants more detailed investigation.

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    • "This was first documented in case reports [20] and later confirmed in comprehensive epidemiological studies for approximately 40% of children with autism [21] [22]. In particular an association with autoimmune thyroiditis or hypothyroidism [23], rheumatic fever [24], rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, family history of type 1 diabetes has been found [22] [25]. Some have suggested that these findings support further research into the possibility of an autoimmune component in ASD because, in general, in autoimmune diseases there is a higher prevalence of a family history of autoimmune disease. "
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    • "Significantly higher risk of autism spectrum disorders was reported for children of mothers with rheumatoid arthritis (incidence rate ratio 1.70, P < 0.05) and celiac disease , and higher risk of infantile autism was found in children with a family history of type 1 diabetes. Keil et al. (2010) used data from 1968 to 2003, from the Swedish Registry systems to quantify rates of autoimmune diseases in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (N = 1227) compared to controls (N = 30 693). They found weakly but significantly higher rates of autoimmune disorders in mothers (odds ratio 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.2, "
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