Girls are more likely to be born autistic if their grandmother smokes when she is pregnant, warns a new study. The risk of being diagnosed with autism disorder spectrum (ASD) is 53% higher, researchers have discovered.
They are also 67% more vulnerable to display behavior related to this condition, such as lack of socialism or recurring behavior.
Exposure to tobacco in the womb affects the woman’s eggs, causing changes that may affect the development of her baby.
However, scientists say that more research needs to be made to find out the reason for the development of this condition in girls and to see if boys are equally endangered.
Scientists at Bristol University, UK, conduct a long-term study of more than 14,500 participants to see the effects of smoking in pregnancy. Using the information collected over the years, they were able to exclude other possible justifications for their outcomes.
The main author of the study, prof. Jean Golding, says: “We already know that protecting children from smoking is one of the good things a woman can do to give the child a healthy start in life.”
Now we have discovered that smoking during pregnancy can give their next niece a good start too.
She adds that they have started studying the next generation of participants to see if the effects are inherited in another generation.