Tuesday April 23, 2019

Tdap Vaccinations Do Not Pose a Risk of Autism

The link between vaccination and development of autism has been refuted by many rigorous scientific investigations. Unfortunately, the misconceptions still generate concerns.

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Prenatal Tdap vaccination does not increase autism risk: Study
As the mPFC is crucial for high-level cognitive functions, reduced cognitive flexibility is observed in developmental disorders such as autism. Pixabay

Administering Tdap vaccination — tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis — to pregnant women may not increase children’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, claims a study of more than 80,000 children born.

The study showed that the autism spectrum disorder rate in children was 1.5 per cent in the maternal Tdap vaccinated group and 1.8 per cent in the maternal unvaccinated group.

“Infants are at the highest risk of hospitalization and death among any population subgroup after contracting a pertussis infection, a highly contagious respiratory disease also known as the whooping cough,” said lead author Tracy A. Becerra-Culqui, a post-doctoral research student at Kaiser Permanente- a US-based health care company.

there is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine
There is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine.

“Pregnant women can be reassured by this study that there is no indication of an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children after being exposed prenatally to the Tdap vaccine,” Becerra-Culqui added.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at the autism diagnosis for nearly 82,000 children.

The Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices, which provides guidance on the use of vaccines for the US, recommends pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine to prevent pertussis infection, but some women still hesitate.

Also Read: Obesity During Pregnancy May up Kid’s Risk of Epilepsy

“The link between vaccination and development of autism has been refuted by many rigorous scientific investigations. Unfortunately, the misconceptions still generate concerns,” the researchers said. (IANS)

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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

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If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)