California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

New Research Links Autism to Environmental Factors

Environmental factors during pregnancy might play a slightly larger role than genetics in the development of autism spectrum disorders, according to two studies in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In one study, researchers at Stanford University and UC-San Francisco found that genetics account for about 38% of the risk of autism and that environmental factors account for about 62%. In a second study, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system found that children faced a higher risk of autism if their mothers took antidepressants during the year prior to giving birth.

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