Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

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Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks
A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism.
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Researchers say the chances of your child being born with autism could depend on pregnancy spacing. 

A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says children born less than one year or more than five years after the birth of a sibling are more likely to be diagnosed with autism. 

 

So, having a child between that two to five year gap could result in a decreased chance of autism. 

Researchers for the study say they can't definitively say why this is, but stress the bigger picture of the study. 

Study leader Keely Cheslack-Postava says, "The importance of this finding lies in the clues that it can provide in terms of understanding how the prenatal environment is related to outcomes after birth."

Cheslack-Postava published a similar study in early 2011. That one focused more on how closely spaced pregnancies related to autism. 

Epidemiologist Michael Rosanoff, who was not involved in this study, told Autism Speaks this most recent study, "...is in line with studies suggesting that depleted folic acid or iron during pregnancy may increase autism risk." 

A study published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Medical Association says women who take folic acid supplements around the time of conception can reduce the risk of autism in their child. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder.