Autism More Likely For Second-Child, Study Shows

Becoming pregnant shortly after giving birth may increase autism risks

While no cure is known for autism, researchers believe environmental factors and genetics to play a role. In fact, new findings show the duration between pregnancies may directly impact the risks of having a child with autism.

A study from Columbia University found that women who, after giving birth to their first child, quickly become pregnant again, notice drastically higher chances of having a baby with autism.

Researchers analyzed time between births and the health records of more than 500,000 children who were born second.

Dr. Thomas Frazier, an autism authority, explained that second-child autism rates are increased if the child is born between 12 months or less of the first child. The numbers from the study backed him up.

Children born between 12-24 months after the birth of a first child noticed 125 percent increase of autism cases.

One suggestion for this is that a woman may lack vital nutrients after the birth of their first child, including folate and iron. Additionally, higher levels of stress may negatively affect the health of the second-born child.

Researchers explain that a number of factors may be at fault, and additional research is being done to narrow down the largest risk factors.