Children diagnosed with autism are 67% more likely to have had jaundice as babies, a new study has found. But researchers still cannot explain the link between the conditions.
The study took place in Denmark and found that the link between autism and jaundice was strongest amongst babies who were born over the winter months. Again, they couldn’t explain why this might be. Theories included the idea that colds and flu are more prevalent in the winter months which may have affected pregnancies. The researchers also suggested that babies born in the dark, cold Danish winter may have been particularly susceptible to jaundice because of the lack of sun.
The study has helped increase understanding of the causes of autism, shaping the idea that there is a complicated range of factors at work, both environmental and genetic.
However, Dr Susan Hyman, from the University of Rochester Medical Center has said newparents needn’t be alarmed. “About 60% of full-term babies and 80% of preemies have jaundice. Most are cured with simple measures such as letting them sleep near a sunny window sill, and turn out fine,” she reassured.
If you baby has jaundice his skin will appear yellow. This will most likely be treated by the hospital but it’s a good idea to know what to look out for. You can also find out more about the signs of autism to be aware of as your baby develops.