Risk factors for autism: An Egyptian study

  • F El-Baz
  • NA Ismael
  • SMN El-Din


This study has been conducted to determine the possible risk factors of autism. This case control study was conducted at pediatric hospital, Ain Shams University on, 100 autistic patients who were subjected to the followings tools: Confirmation of diagnosis using DSM-IV-TR criteria,
IQ assessment using Stanford–Binrent intelligence scale, and assessment of severity of autistic symptoms using childhood autism rating scale (CARS). Full clinical examination, neurological examination, EEG and audiological assessment were also done. Forty-six percent of our patients
with autistic symptoms presented at the age of one and half years and 32% at the age of 2 years. Fifty-five percent of our patients had mild to severe retardation (IQ = 20–70), 36% below average mentality (IQ = 71–89) and 9% with normal mentality (IQ = 90–109). High maternal age (mother, P35 years) at birth was found in 23% of autistic children in comparison to 9.5% of controls. Also advanced paternal age (father, P35 years) at birth was found in 91% of cases in comparison to 83.5% of control group and the difference was statistically significant. Positive family history was found to be statistically significantly associated with the risk of autism (16% of cases versus 1% of control). All studied developmental milestones were delayed among autistic children than control group (p= 0.000). As regards natal factors, a history of low birth weight, delivery by ceserian section were significantly higher among cases than controls. Also postnatal factors as history of hypoxia, resuscitation and history of jaundice were considered significantly risk factors for autism (p=0.000).

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eISSN: 1110-8630