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J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Jul;45(7):2056-66. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2368-y.

Inter-Pregnancy Intervals and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a Population-Based Study.

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Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 789 WARF, 610 Walnut Street, Madison, WI, 53726, USA,


Recent studies have reported an increased risk of autism among second-born children conceived <12 versus >36 months after the birth of a sibling. Confirmation of this finding would point to inter-pregnancy interval (IPI) as a potentially modifiable risk factor for autism. This study evaluated the relationship between IPI and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk in a Wisconsin birth cohort of 31,467 second-born children, of whom 160 resided in the study area and were found to have ASD at age 8 years. In adjusted analyses, both short (<12) and long (>84 month) IPIs were associated with a two-fold risk of ASD relative to IPIs of 24-47 months (p < 0.05). The long IPI association was partially confounded by history of previous pregnancy loss.

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