Gestational weight gain may increase risk of autism

US researchers found a 17% increased risk of ASD for every five pound (2.26kg) weight increase during pregnancy.

However, no association was found with prepregnancy BMI and ASD.

The authors said maternal BMI and gestational weight gain have previously been associated with increased risk for developmental disabilities.

In light of the new findings, research should now focus on steroid hormones and other biomarkers in the fetal environment which might impact embryonic development.