Association of Family History of Autoimmune Diseases and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Nanea, Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, bNational Centre for Register-Based Research, and eInstitute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 09/2009; 124(2):687-94. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2008-2445
Source: PubMed


Recent studies suggest that familial autoimmunity plays a part in the pathogenesis of ASDs. In this study we investigated the association between family history of autoimmune diseases (ADs) and ASDs/infantile autism. We perform confirmatory analyses based on results from previous studies, as well as various explorative analyses.
The study cohort consisted of all of the children born in Denmark from 1993 through 2004 (689 196 children). Outcome data consisted of both inpatient and outpatient diagnoses reported to the Danish National Psychiatric Registry. Information on ADs in parents and siblings of the cohort members was obtained from the Danish National Hospital Register. The incidence rate ratio of autism was estimated by using log-linear Poisson regression.
A total of 3325 children were diagnosed with ASDs, of which 1089 had an infantile autism diagnosis. Increased risk of ASDs was observed for children with a maternal history of rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. Also, increased risk of infantile autism was observed for children with a family history of type 1 diabetes.
Associations regarding family history of type 1 diabetes and infantile autism and maternal history of rheumatoid arthritis and ASDs were confirmed from previous studies. A significant association between maternal history of celiac disease and ASDs was observed for the first time. The observed associations between familial autoimmunity and ASDs/infantile autism are probably attributable to a combination of a common genetic background and a possible prenatal antibody exposure or alteration in fetal environment during pregnancy.

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Available from: Hjördís Osk Atladóttir, Apr 12, 2014
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    • "Having a child with Asperger's Syndrome was also more likely if mothers had the first onset of mood disorders prior to having children. Research has focused on the relationship between autoimmune diseases and ASD (Ashwood & Van de Water, 2004; Atladóttir et al., 2009; Chen et al., 2013; Comi, Zimmerman, Frye, Law, & Peeden, 1999; Kuo et al., 2014). Sweeten, Bowyer, Posey, Halberstadt, and McDougle (2003) compared families with a child with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) to families with a child with an autoimmune disease, [ 2 4 6 _ T D $ D I F F ] and to families with a healthy control child. "
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