Wednesday September 19, 2018

Risk of Autism in Kids Associated with Mother’s Pesticide Levels

In addition, the odds of children having autism with intellectual disability were increased more than twofold with maternal DDE levels above this threshold

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Mothers' pesticide levels linked to autism risk in kids. Pixabay
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Elevated pesticide levels in pregnant women are associated with an increased risk of autism among their children, says a study.

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with largely unknown causes. It is characterised by problems with communication, difficulty relating to people and events, and repetitive body movements or behaviours.

“These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring,” the researchers said.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, examined whether elevated maternal levels of persistent organic pollutants are associated with autism among children.

Persistent organic pollutants are toxic chemicals that adversely affect human health and the environment around the world.

The researchers, including Professor Alan Brown from Columbia University Medical Centre in the US, analysed levels of DDE, a breakdown product of the pesticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane).

These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring
These findings provide the first biomarker-based evidence that maternal exposure to insecticides is associated with autism among offspring. Pixabay

Although DDT and other persistent organic pollutants were widely banned in many countries decades ago, they persist in the food chain, resulting in continuous exposure among populations.

These chemicals transfer across the placenta, resulting in potential prenatal exposure among nearly all children.

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The researchers evaluated levels of DDE in maternal serum samples drawn from more than 750 children with autism and matched control participants from a national birth cohort study, the Finnish Prenatal Study of Autism.

The odds of autism among children were significantly increased in mothers whose DDE levels were elevated (defined as the 75th percentile or greater).

In addition, the odds of children having autism with intellectual disability were increased more than twofold with maternal DDE levels above this threshold, the study said. (IANS)

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Exposure to Certain Disinfectants Can Cause Obesity in Kids: Research

The use of eco-friendly products may be linked to healthier overall maternal lifestyles and eating habits.

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Disinfectants
How common household cleaners could make kids overweight. Flickr

Early life exposure to certain disinfectants used at home could be making children overweight by altering the composition of their gut bacteria, suggests new research.

Babies living in households that used eco-friendly cleaners had different microbiota and were less likely to be overweight as toddlers, showed the findings published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

For the study, the researchers analysed the gut flora of 757 infants from the general population at age 3-4 months and weight at ages 1 and 3 years, looking at exposure to disinfectants, detergents and eco-friendly products used in the home.

Disinfectants
Mother’s Lifestyle Choices Linked to Obesity Risk in Adolescents. Pixabay

The researchers looked at data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort on microbes in infant fecal matter. They used World Health Organization growth charts for body mass index (BMI) scores.

Associations with altered gut flora in babies 3-4 months old were strongest for frequent use of household disinfectants such as multi-surface cleaners, which showed lower levels of Haemophilus and Clostridium bacteria but higher levels of Lachnospiraceae.

The researchers also observed an increase in Lachnospiraceae bacteria with more frequent cleaning with disinfectants.

They, however, did not find the same association with detergents or eco-friendly cleaners.

“We found that infants living in households with disinfectants being used at least weekly were twice as likely to have higher levels of the gut microbes Lachnospiraceae at age 3-4 months,” said Anita Kozyrskyj, Professor at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Disinfectants
The researchers looked at data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort on microbes in infant fecal matter. Flcikr

“When they were 3 years old, their body mass index was higher than children not exposed to heavy home use of disinfectants as an infant,” Kozyrskyj said.

“Those infants growing up in households with heavy use of eco cleaners had much lower levels of the gut microbes Enterobacteriaceae,” she said.

Also Read: Asthma Ups The Chance of Obesity: Study

Kozyrskyj suggests that the use of eco-friendly products may be linked to healthier overall maternal lifestyles and eating habits, contributing in turn to the healthier gut microbiomes and weight of their infants. (IANS)