A mother’s smoking during pregnancy does not appear to increase the risk that her child will develop autism, a new study concludes. Previous studies on the possible connection have produced mixed results, HealthDay reports.
The study looked at data from almost 4,000 Swedish children with autism, and compared them to 39,000 children without autism. The researchers found 19.8 percent of children with autism had mothers who smoked during pregnancy, compared with 18.4 percent of those whose mothers didn’t smoke.
“We found no evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders,” study author Brian Lee of Drexel University in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. He noted that smoking during pregnancy is still unhealthy for mothers, and can cause other known health problems for their babies.
The results appear in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
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