Researchers claim that
children might suffer from high functioning autism if their mothers resorted to
smoking during pregnancy.
Kalkbrenner, the lead author from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's
Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health stated, "It has long been known that
autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and
She further added,
"What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than
others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during
Kalkbrenner along with
her team members conducted a population-based study where smoking data from
birth certificates of about 633,989 kids was compared. These children belonged
to 11 different nations and were born in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998. The study
was published online in Medical daily.
The study findings
showed that about 13 percent of the mothers involved in the study had smoking
records while they were pregnant. 11 percent of the 3,315 children who were
recognized with autism spectrum disorder at the age of eight belonged to those
mothers who resorted to smoking during pregnancy.
The experts also discovered that these kids
had more chances of having high-functioning autism, such as Asperger's Disorder.
"The study doesn't say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for
autism. But it does say that if there is an association, it's between smoking
and certain types of autism."
Every time a pregnant
woman smokes a cigarette, the toxic and harmful chemicals enter into her blood
circulation and into the child's blood stream. This hampers the oxygen and
nutrient supply to her baby. The overall development of the baby is affected.
pregnancy increases the probability of having miscarriages, stillbirths, low
weight babies and premature births.
pregnancy can also result in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and congenital birth
defects such as cleft palate, ear infections or even asthma.
Kalkbrenner stated that autism included a
wide-ranging spectrum of circumstances that are catalyzed by a combination of
environment and genetics. She finally concluded, "The goal of this work is
to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful."