Abuse in childhood linked to risk of autism in offspring

Analysis of data from more than 50,000 women in the longitudinal Nurses’ Health Study II found women experiencing high levels of physical, emotional or sexual abuse as children were 60% more likely to have a child with autism compared to women who never suffered abuse.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health claim to have hit upon a completely new risk factor for autism, although they cautioned the maternal exposure to abuse and the child’s autism were based on self-report.

JAMA Psychiatry