New research into what factors during pregnancy could affect the risk of autism in children has shown that diabetes, obesity and fever during pregnancy could increase the chances of autism. It was also concluded that births by caesarean section did not show any effect, and that having the flu while pregnant wasn’t associated with a greater risk of autism.
One study, the research, including the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) project, found that people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or being obese while also being pregnant was associated with autism in children.
With diagnoses for autism on the increase, the cause of the condition remains unknown, although some studies have highlighted that maternal factors may be contributing to some children developing the disorder.
In the CHARGE study, although no link was uncovered between autism and the flu during any trimester of pregnancy, the mothers of children who were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder were nearly twice as likely to report having a fever during pregnancy than mothers of kids without autism.
Another study examined mothers with type 2 and gestational diabetes, chronic hypertension and pre-pregnancy obesity, revealing that the children of mothers with those conditions were significantly more likely to have autism or another developmental delay.
Other research by scientists in Denmark showed that there were no differences in hospitalisations for infections during pregnancy, but that mothers of autistic kids were more likely to have higher levels of some inflammatory markers.

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