Autism linked to high birth defect rates in boys

Analysis of 100 million medical records, covering nearly one-third of the US population, found every 1% increase in malformations in a particular county was associated with a 283% increase in autism cases and 94% increase in intellectual disability rates.

Congenital malformations in males, such as hypospadias and micropenis, were proxy for parental exposure to environmental toxins. The study also found males with autism were nearly six times more likely to have such a malformation.

PLOS Comput Biol 2014; online 13 Mar