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Int J Prev Med. 2019 Aug 12;10:135. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_25_19. eCollection 2019.

Advanced Parental Age and Risk of Positive Autism Spectrum Disorders Screening.

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Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.
Student Research Committee, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran.



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life -long neurodevelopmental disorder and significantly influences the quality of life in children. The screening of ASD in children aged between 16-30 months to early detection and early intervention for better prognosis.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in the southwest of Iran (Yasuj) with dominant Lore ethnicity in 2017. A total of 1504 mother- child pairs with children aged between 16-30 months were selected through simple random sampling from the integrated national health system as the framework. ASD screening was implemented using the Modified checklist for autism in toddlers- revised, with follow-up interview (M-CHAT-R/F). Demographic data such as sex of children, and parental age at their time of pregnancy were collected for all children.


Risk of ASD was low, moderate and high in 1447 (96.2%), 54 (3.6%) and 3 (0.2%) in screening, respectively. The estimated rate of ASD prevalence was 80 per 10000 (12 out of 1504) or 1 in 125. Mother's age ≥35 (P value = 0.002, OR = 11.65, CI95%: 2.49-54.35) and father's age ≥40 (P value = 0.0001, OR = 19.64, CI95%: 4.89-78.82) were predicting factors of ASD in toddlers aged 16-30 months.


Given that, increasing the age of marriage in Iran and recent trend towards delayed childbearing; children born to older parents are at a higher risk for having ASD. So, increasing the public awareness is necessary.


Autism spectrum disorder; mass screening; parent

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