Parental Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autism Spectrum Disorders in Offspring: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study

Ane Lilleøre Rom*, Chun Sen Wu, Jørn Olsen, Damini Jawaheer, Merete Lund Hetland, Lina Steinrud Mørch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Maternal rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the offspring. We assessed the potential influence of both maternal and paternal RA on the risk of ASD in offspring to disentangle the influence of genetic inheritance from other conditions potentially leading to fetal programming. Method The nationwide cohort study included all children born alive from 1977 to 2008 in Denmark (N = 1,917,723). Cox regression models were used to calculate hazard rate ratios (HR) of ASD in offspring exposed to maternal or paternal RA, compared to unexposed children. Results Maternal RA was associated with an approximately 30% increased risk of ASD in the offspring (HR = 1.31 and 95% CI = 1.06−1.63). Also, paternal RA seemed to increase the risk of ASD by approximately 30% (HR = 1.33, 95% CI = 0.97−1.82). Conclusion Our findings suggest maternal as well as paternal RA to be associated with an increased risk of ASD in the offspring, indicating that genetic factors associated with RA may also play a role in the etiology of ASD in children of parents with RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32.e1
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorders
  • maternal history
  • offspring
  • parental history
  • rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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