Age of Mother Linked to Autism Risk

February 10, 2010 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Age of Mother Linked to Autism Risk
An exhaustive study of all births in California1 in the 1990s has concluded that the increasing age of the mother is a risk factor for autism.

The study found that the incremental risk of having a child with autism increased by 18 percent—nearly one fifth—for every five-year increase in the mother’s age. A 40-year-old woman’s risk of having a child later diagnosed with autism was 50 percent greater than that of a woman between 25 and 29 years old.

The researcher speculated that this could be due to increased autoantibodies or changes in genes that occur during aging.

The cause of autism is hard to pin down because there are so many factors that can interfere with optimal development of the brain. These issues range from stress to pollution to adjuvants in vaccines to malnutrition to parental obesity to GMOs in food – and the list of possible brain irritants goes on and on. However, this study suggests that regardless of whatever those irritants may be an older mother is less able to offsets such problems.

This doesn’t mean older women shouldn’t have children. It does mean that they must ensure they are in optimal health before conception and that their life is well managed so as to keep stress to a minimum.

Referenced Studies

  1. ^ Autism and Mother's Age  Autism Research  Janie F. Shelton, Daniel J. Tancredi, Irva Hertz-Picciotto.

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