Tuesday November 20, 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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Postpartum depression linked to mother's pain post childbirth 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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Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

Their aerobic fitness was determined by measuring peak oxygen uptake during a maximal exercise test

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Diabetes
Poor aerobic fitness can up diabetes, heart disease risk in kids. Pixabay

Lack of exercise, particularly poor aerobic fitness, in children increases their risk for developing Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, says a new study.

Children with poor aerobic fitness in proportion to their total body mass were found to have a significantly higher risk of Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease than their peers having better aerobic fitness.

“Measures of aerobic fitness that are based on total body mass are better at predicting the risk of Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease than measures that are based on skeletal muscle mass,” said Andrew Agbaje, lead researcher from the University of Eastern Finland.

“However, they exaggerate the role of aerobic fitness in children’s health,” he added.

For the study, researchers determined threshold values of aerobic fitness for 352 children, aged between 9 and 11 who are at an increased risk of Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Their aerobic fitness was determined by measuring peak oxygen uptake during a maximal exercise test.

The team also calculated variables indicative of the risk of Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, such as waist circumference, blood levels of insulin, glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides as well as blood pressure.

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The study, published in the journal Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, found that the traditional way of expressing aerobic fitness in proportion to total body mass overestimates the role of aerobic fitness in identifying children at an increased risk of these diseases.

“We should be cautious when interpreting aerobic fitness measures that are proportioned to total body mass in order to correctly identify children who truly need health and lifestyle intervention,” Agbaje noted. (IANS)