Children with a particular genetic makeup who are exposed to air pollution appear to be at a higher risk of developing autism, according to new research reported by Medical News Today
The findings, reported by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) in the journal Epidemiology, are based on an analysis of previous studies that have shown associations between air pollution and autism, and between autism and the so-called MET gene.
The USC researchers said their new study reveals that the combination of these factors increases the risk of autism.
The findings could lead to a new way to identify children at greater risk for autism spectrum disorders that typically lead to problems with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more children than ever before are being diagnosed with ASD, estimating that one in 88 children are affected.