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27-09-2020 | Article | Uitgave 5/2021

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 5/2021

A Systematic Review of the Risk Factors for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children Born Preterm

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 5/2021
Clodagh Cogley, Helen O’Reilly, Jessica Bramham, Michelle Downes
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Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorder, with various factors proposed to underlie this relationship. The aim of this systematic review was to provide a narrative synthesis of the literature regarding the prenatal, perinatal and postnatal factors associated with autism spectrum disorder in children born preterm. Medline, Embase and PsycINFO databases were searched via Ovid to identify studies published from January 1990 to December 2019. Original studies in which a standardized diagnostic tool and/or clinical assessment was used to diagnose autism, along with a risk factor analysis to identify associated predictors, were included. A total of 11 eligible studies were identified. Male sex, being born small for gestational age and general cognitive impairment were the most robust findings, with each reported as a significant factor in at least two studies. Comparisons across studies were limited by variation in risk factor measurement and gestational age ranges investigated.

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