Taking prenatal vitamins early in pregnancy associated with lower risk of autism, study finds

Taking prenatal vitamins early in pregnancy associated with lower risk of autism, study finds
The researchers evaluated the children’s development starting at 6 months through age 3.

(CNN) – A new study suggests a link between daily intake of prenatal vitamins during the first month of pregnancy and a lower risk of autism in “high-risk families.”

For the study – which was published Wednesday in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry – researchers followed 241 children who had older siblings diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and therefore have an increased risk of being diagnosed with autism.

The researchers evaluated the children’s development starting at 6 months through age 3.

Researchers found just over 14 percent of the children whose mothers took prenatal vitamins in the first month of the pregnancy developed autism.

That’s compared with nearly 33 percent of children who developed the disorder and whose mothers did not take the vitamins.

While an autism specialist says the study is important, she cautioned that it’s a small study, and the results may not translate to the general population.

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