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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 (81-90):
SAHM927
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM

No. This study is flawed. There is no control group. And if you actually read into the study more, only 1% of those who had the flu during pregnancy actually had an autistic child. I do not know how you could even possibly make this correlation on a mere 1%. But thank you big Pharma for trying to scare more women into getting the flu vaccine which is not tested/approved for pregnant women. Does anyone want to discuss the rise in miscarriage rates since the administration of the flu/h1n1 vaccine?

marihla
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't think the flu shot is a good idea any time.

ReneeN1979
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 3:15 AM

Here's what I can say:

The flu shot gave me the flu 3 times in the first month. I had the flu 2 times in the second month after getting the shot. My doctor knew I had no vaccines after the first few rounds of infant vaccines due to seizures, but she said I needed the current flu shot, so I had it.

I know I had the flu during two of my three pregnancies, and none of my children ever developed autism (thank God).

gypsy_rose
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:11 AM

A) they are not talking about the SHOT they are talking about actually being SICK during pregnancy. B) They are not saying it is a cause but a possible contributing factor. 

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:)


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I have something known as Nerofibromatosis. This illness causes tumors to grow within my body. I currently have brain tumors which affects my ability to function 100% normaly. My memory is poor as is my spelling and grammar abilities. It is a part of who my youngest is and a part of who I am. It is not all of ether of us.

My husbands best friends brother has a condition known as tuberous sclerosis. He was supposed to have died at a very young age. He is now close to 30 and still alive. He has had a few brain surgeries and has had to have his shunt replaced a few times. They run a program to help people with this condition. This ribbon will take you to their website where information on TS is located. 


gypsy_rose
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM

they say that themselves from my understanding of the article. 

Quoting SAHM927:

No. This study is flawed. There is no control group. And if you actually read into the study more, only 1% of those who had the flu during pregnancy actually had an autistic child. I do not know how you could even possibly make this correlation on a mere 1%. But thank you big Pharma for trying to scare more women into getting the flu vaccine which is not tested/approved for pregnant women. Does anyone want to discuss the rise in miscarriage rates since the administration of the flu/h1n1 vaccine?


For information please click the ribbon. 

I have something known as Nerofibromatosis. This illness causes tumors to grow within my body. I currently have brain tumors which affects my ability to function 100% normaly. My memory is poor as is my spelling and grammar abilities. It is a part of who my youngest is and a part of who I am. It is not all of ether of us.

My husbands best friends brother has a condition known as tuberous sclerosis. He was supposed to have died at a very young age. He is now close to 30 and still alive. He has had a few brain surgeries and has had to have his shunt replaced a few times. They run a program to help people with this condition. This ribbon will take you to their website where information on TS is located. 


aidensmomma508
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 9:43 AM

I didn't have the flu my son still has autism

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Nov. 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM
Doesn't matter...I still don't believe it. That's my opinion and its not changing.

Quoting gypsy_rose:

A) they are not talking about the SHOT they are talking about actually being SICK during pregnancy. B) They are not saying it is a cause but a possible contributing factor. 


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:)


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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Nov. 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Why don't we stop focusing on all this garbage of where it comes from and start treating it?  How about focusing on helping those that DO have Autism....that seems to be more beneficial to me:)  

emmy526
by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 7:47 AM

the new scare tactic for pregnant women will be, 'Let's tell all pregnant women if they don't get a flu shot, their child is much more likely to have autism'... i bet that will make flu shot rates stay up there for pharma...

Quoting SAHM927:

No. This study is flawed. There is no control group. And if you actually read into the study more, only 1% of those who had the flu during pregnancy actually had an autistic child. I do not know how you could even possibly make this correlation on a mere 1%. But thank you big Pharma for trying to scare more women into getting the flu vaccine which is not tested/approved for pregnant women. Does anyone want to discuss the rise in miscarriage rates since the administration of the flu/h1n1 vaccine?


lhiannan
by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 7:59 AM

 I have 2 out of 3 children with autism, and had the flu with all of them.  My first (who is not autistic) was the one where I was hospitalized for a couple days.  Do I think the flu causes autism?  I doubt it-I'm sure lots of women got the flu during pregnany before the rise in autism rates.  I already got my flu shot because if I get it while pregnant, it tends to make me very sick (er with an iv for my younger two, and a two day hospital stay with my oldest).  I got the tdap at the same time as my flu shot to protect my baby.

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