Autism-related marijuana use in children in pregnancy, study finds


A large Canadian study found a relationship between maternal cannabis use during pregnancy and autism spectrum disorder in children.

The study, published Monday in Nature Medicine, included an analysis of all live births in Canada from April 2007 to March 2012, before cannabis was entertained. Study notes using cannabis during pregnancy have increased.

According to a hospital press release in the study, 3,000 out of half a million women in the study, or 0.6%, reported using cannabis during pregnancy.

Specifically, researchers found that women who used cannabis during pregnancy were 1.5 times more likely to have children with autism according to Forbes.

Women who consume cannabis during pregnancy were found to be 1.5 times more likely to have children with autism. (IStock)

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The authors of the study wrote, “The incidence of intellectual disability and learning disturbances was higher among the offspring of mothers who consume cannabis in pregnancy, although less statistically strong.”

In a separate study conducted by the same researchers, they first found that cannabis use in pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. The women included in that study often used other substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and opioids.

“In keeping with those findings, researchers in the current study specifically looked at 2,200 women who reported using cannabis only during pregnancy, and there were no other substances. They found that those born in this group Infants who were still at risk of having autism were higher than those who did not. According to the press release, use cannabis.

However, the study had limitations. Researchers have no idea what amounts of cannabis are used, at which point women used cannabis during pregnancy, or how cannabis was consumed.

Researchers emphasized caution when interpreting the results, because despite other factors attempts to control, other variables may be at play. Therefore, the study shows union – not cause and effect.

Nevertheless, the study’s senior author called the results “related.”

“It is related because we know how cannabis affects pregnant women and their children,” said Dr. Head of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatal Care at Ottawa Hospital. Mark Walker, Professor and Senior Writer on Studies at the University of Ottawa. “Parents should inform themselves of potential risks, and we hope that studies like ours can also help.”

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