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J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Aug;49(8):3127-3135. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-04034-9.

Exposure to General Anesthesia May Contribute to the Association between Cesarean Delivery and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Author information

1
Public Health Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
2
Pre-School Psychiatry Unit, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel.
3
Psychology Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
4
Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
5
Child Development Department, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel.
6
Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel.
7
Public Health Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. idanmen@bgu.ac.il.
8
Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. idanmen@bgu.ac.il.

Abstract

Cesarean section (CS) has been consistently associated with susceptibility to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, the underlying mechanism for this association remains vague. Here, we studied various pre-peri-and-neonatal factors among 347 children with ASD, 117 children with other developmental delays (DD), and 2226 age, sex and ethnicity matched controls. We found that CS is significantly associated with an increased risk of ASD but not DD (p = 0.019 and p = 0.540 respectively). Furthermore, we show that only CS performed with general anesthesia (GA) elevated the risk of ASD with no significant difference between indicated and non-indicated surgeries (aOR = 1.537; 95% CI 1.026-2.302, and aOR = 1.692; 95% CI 1.057-2.709, pdiff = 0.865). We therefore suggest that exposure to GA during CS may explain the association between CS and ASD.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorder; Cesarean section; General anesthesia

PMID:
31053992
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-019-04034-9

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