Prenatal Use of Folic Acid(Drug information on folic acid) Reduced Autism Likelihood by 40%
Women who used prenatal folic acid supplements from 4 weeks before pregnancy to 8 weeks after the start of pregnancy had a 40% reduced risk of having a child with an autistic disorder, according to the results of a population-based Norwegian study that examined more than 85,000 children. Results were published in the February 13, 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.
Autistic disorder was found in 0.21% of the children born to mothers who did not take folic acid, compared with 0.10% of children born to mother who did, resulting in an adjusted odds ratio for an autistic disorder of 0.61 (95% CI, 0.41-0.90).
Children in the study were born between 2002 and 2008. The study ended in March 2012. During that time, 270 children (0.32% of the population) were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
The researchers pointed out that "this finding does not establish a causal relation between folic acid use and autistic disorder but provides a rationale for replicating the analyses in other study samples."
Read the full results of the study here.