Exposure to General Anesthesia May Contribute to the Association between Cesarean Delivery and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Maayan Huberman Samuel, Gal Meiri, Ilan Dinstein, Hagit Flusser, Analiya Michaelovski, Asher Bashiri, Idan Menashe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cesarean section (CS) has been consistently associated with susceptibility to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, the underlying mechanism for this association remains vague. Here, we studied various pre-peri-and-neonatal factors among 347 children with ASD, 117 children with other developmental delays (DD), and 2226 age, sex and ethnicity matched controls. We found that CS is significantly associated with an increased risk of ASD but not DD (p = 0.019 and p = 0.540 respectively). Furthermore, we show that only CS performed with general anesthesia (GA) elevated the risk of ASD with no significant difference between indicated and non-indicated surgeries (aOR = 1.537; 95% CI 1.026–2.302, and aOR = 1.692; 95% CI 1.057–2.709, pdiff = 0.865). We therefore suggest that exposure to GA during CS may explain the association between CS and ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3127-3135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume49
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cesarean section
  • General anesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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