Maternal location of birth may be linked to autism new research suggests

Research published in the July edition Journal of Pediatrics suggests that maternal place of birth may be linked to autism.

The research conducted by the UCLA Brain Institute analyzed medical records of mothers and their children diagnosed with autism between the ages of three and five in the state of  Los Angeles County between 1998-2009. Totalling almost 1.6M births. Senior author Beate Ritz, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Fielding School of Public Health’s department of epidemiology said:

“Epidemiology has a long tradition of using migration studies to understand how environmental and genetic factors contribute to disease risk in populations.

The fact that 22 percent of six year-olds born in the United States have immigrant parents opened a unique opportunity for us to consider the influence of nativity, race, and ethnicity on the causes of autism spectrum disorder.”

The evidence seemed to suggest that when compared to U.S.-born white mothers, rates were 76 % higher in children of foreign-born black mothers, 43 % higher in women born in Vietnam, 25 percent higher in women born in the Philippines, 26 % higher in women born in Central or South America, and 13 to 14 % higher in Hispanic and black women born in the U.S.