Monday, February 18, 2013

Autism risk up in premature births

PREMATURE babies born earlier than 32 weeks have higher rates of psychiatric disorders at age seven than babies born at full term, Melbourne researchers have found. A study of 177 children born prematurely and 65 born at full-term found a quarter of the premature children met criteria for a psychiatric disorder at age seven, which was three times the rate for full-term children. The most common diagnoses among premature children were anxiety disorders (11 per cent), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (10 per cent) and autism spectrum disorders (4.5 per cent). Advertisement Lead researcher Karli Treyvaud, of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, said the rate of autism among children born pre-term was about four times higher than recent Australian population estimates

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