Washington: Children born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have high-functioning autism, such as Asperger’s Disorder, preliminary findings from a study has revealed.The study by researchers involved in the U.S. autism surveillance program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,” said Amy Kalkbrenner, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, lead author of the study.“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 pregnancy,” she stated.Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies. Kalkbrenner found that 13 percent of mothers whose children were included in the study had smoked during pregnancy.Kalkbrenner and colleagues’ population-based study compared smoking data from birth certificates of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism maintained by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDMN).
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