Fever in Pregnancy and Risk of Autism | Do not assume trivial if you have a fever, especially if you're pregnant. A recent research indicates, pregnant women who have a fever during pregnancy, two times greater risk of having a child with autism or developmental delay.
But the researchers said, the use of medication to cope fever during pregnancy might be able to effectively reduce the risk of having a child with autism or an abnormal neurodevelopmental disorders.
"Our study provides compelling evidence that controlling fever during pregnancy might be effective in modifying the risk of having a child with autism or developmental delay," said Ousseny Zerbo, principal investigator of the University of California Davis.
"We recommend that pregnant women who have a fever should consume the body temperature lowering medication and seek medical attention if the fever continues," he said.
The findings are published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder. Researchers claim their findings as the first one, a look at the link between fever as factors causing autism and the importance of prenatal care to prevent developmental delays in children. Several previous studies have linked the risk of infection in pregnant women against several developmental diseases such as rubella, measles, mumps and influenza.
In the study, researchers involved data Childhood Autism Risk from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE), which involved 538 children with autism, 163 children with developmental delay but not autism, and 421 normal children. Then, every mother of the children were asked to complete a survey about whether they had a cold or flu during pregnancy and whether they were taking medication to treat their disease.
Study shows flu during pregnancy is not associated with the risk of the development of children with autism or other developmental delays. While fever during pregnancy increases the risk of autism 2.12 times and 2.5 times the delays in development, compared with mothers who did not have a fever during pregnancy.
However, the risk of autism in children of mothers who took the drug for fever not higher than children whose mothers did not have a fever. Previous studies also revealed that women who are obese or have diabetes are relatively higher risk to have children with autise.
Professor Irva Hertz-Picciotto, principal investigator of CHARGE, explaining that the fever was caused by acute inflammation in the short term to boost the immune system reacts to infection or injury. Chronic inflammation can damage healthy tissue. This condition generally occurs in the mother with metabolic abnormalities such as diabetes and obesity.