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Flu in pregnancy, Autism linked??

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A Danish study published online today in Pediatrics is already causing concern among pregnant women -- and sparking criticism.

After NBC aired a segment about the study on "Today," questions about the methods used in the study arose as quickly as alarming headlines suggesting a link between fever or flu during pregnancy and autism.

The Danish researchers questioned mothers of almost 100,000 children born in Denmark between 1997 and 2003 about their history of infection, influenza and antibiotic use during pregnancy.

The results initially seem significant: Women who reported having the flu while pregnant were twice as likely to have kids who developed autism.

A week-long fever indicated a tripled risk. But, as the authors themselves point out, "misreporting of influenza is likely to be considerable," and "The results may be due to multiple testing; the few positive findings are potential chance findings."

Others questioned the comparisons drawn in the study: "The more comparisons you make, the more likely some difference will look important when it's not," Emily Willingham wrote for Forbes.

"[This] study is purely explorative and it is far too soon to suggest any clinical implications," HealthDayquotes study lead author Dr. Hjordis Osk Atladottir, of the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at University of Aarhus. "Indeed, the study shows that around 99 percent of women experiencing influenza, fever or taking antibiotics during pregnancy do not have children with autism."

Other recent studies have had mixed findings: a Swedish study found no link between infections and autism, although a study from the U.S. found that women who had fevers while pregnant were twice as likely to have a child with autism or a developmental disorder, and another Danish study showed an association between hospital visits in the first trimester and autism.

While the results of the study may be speculative, advice seems to be consistent on one front: if you're pregnant, get a flu shot.

What are your opinions on this? Does this make you want to get a flu shot (considering you are pregnant, that is)? 

by on Nov. 13, 2012 at 8:17 PM
Replies (51-60):
by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this

Don't worry yourself. I honeslty think they are grasping at straws here.

My oldest son is on the autism spectrum, which put my other kids at a higher risk for autism spectrum disorders. Well, w/ my youngest, I did get the swine flu shot during my pregnancy and he is now 2 1/2 and just fine.

Quoting bear.katten:

Now I'm super worried. I had the flu shot while pregnant but it gave me the flu! I also had bronchittus while pregnant in my 1st trimester and had to go to the hospital :-(

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM

both my kids have autism. I did not have the flu. Nor did it come from their shots. They showed signs before they had shots.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM
1 mom liked this

after years of training working with Special Needs I know that there isnt any one cause. There are many factors. This could be one...but how each individual reacts to factors is different. That is why we havnt made in progress in finding out the cause. There are too many

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM
1 mom liked this

i dont believe in flu shots.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM

the credible (and replicable) data to which I am exposed demonstrates a genetic component, not the mother being exposed to illness while pregnant.

I don't know where the sunbeams end and the starlights begin; it's all a mystery.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM

People are just desperate to find a cause and cure for Autism. It's a devastating thing and some parents will latch onto any tiny thing that makes them feel like we're progressing in the right direction. I doubt there is a link.

Lilypie Maternity tickers

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:27 PM

 Autism rates are growing. Women have always gotten the flu - that hasn't changed.. the only thing that has changed is that flu shots are being pushed more now than ever.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM

 I had flu shots with both my pregnancies with my son and daughter and they are the healthiest babies ever, no autism just normal.

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Quoting darbyakeep45:

I don't believe that...I didn't have a flu shot while I was pregnant, and my son is Autistic.  I personally don't believe all the junk out there about what "causes Autism"...just me though:)

I am with you on that, I too have an autistic child and I can't have a flu vaccine. My best friend has an autistic child, and she doesn't believe in the flu vaccines at all. 

So moving on, they will find a new straw to grasp at and spread more panic.

Stephannie, wife to John, Mom to John, Garrett, CJ and Alex
full-time Auntie to Carly-Ann

New York Moms
Join us on The New York Moms Group! - - NY Moms Group Mod

by on Nov. 15, 2012 at 1:08 PM
1 mom liked this
From what I read, this article is reporting links of autism to being pregnant and getting the flu so they recommend getting the flu shot...? Am I wrong?

When i was pregnant with dd1, I had swine flu which developed into pneumonia because the ER drs didn't think I had it- they wouldn't even test it. But I had been severely sick for 2 wks and went to a clinic who tested me and sure enough I did have it & they also found the pneumonia. I started tamaflu and started getting better within a few days. My dd1 doesn't have autism. I refuse to flu vac for all of my kids & myself. I got it once & it made me sick so I figured what's the point. I am sick with the flu now so we'll see if my kiddo is goin to develope autism... I doubt it. No to mention the flu shots have mercury in it and that's not good for a growing fetus.

I've also had to be on antibiotics for my 1st preg and this preg which is my 3rd baby.

OT: a nurse I saw at the beginning of this preg told me I had a MC before this preg because I drank a cup of coffee a day so I killed my baby and I could kill this one too if I didn't stop eatin chocolate, drinking coffee & teas etc. what a load of crap. I've always drank coffee and my first 2 girls are normal healthy kids and I drank coffee during their preg too. I didnt drink coffee with my very first preg & still MCed. People will say the stupidest things to give something some kind of justification.
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