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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3955

Title: The Effect of the Broad Autism Phenotype on Physical Activity and Weight Gain in Pregnancy
Authors: Bauer, Jessica
Keywords: Public Health;Broad Autism Phenotype;Pregnancy;Physical Activity;Weight Gain;Autism
Issue Date: 3-Dec-2012
Abstract: Objectives: This study aims to provide insight on the potential role ASD-related genetic liability might have in confounding associations between prenatal maternal lifestyle variables and autism risk in subsequent Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) analyses. In addition to examining parental broad autism phenotype as a confounder of risk factor associations, the questions of whether and how the broad autism phenotype influences behaviors related to healthy lifestyle is of interest and has been underexplored in the literature. Methods: EARLI is a prospective study examining genetic susceptibility and environmental risk factors for autism by following pregnant women who have a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder throughout their pregnancy and the new babies through age three. Several biological samples and surveys are collected, including the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), health behaviors pregnancy questionnaire, maternal interview, and maternal interview update, which were used to determine if there was an association between the maternal broad autism phenotype and lifestyle-related variables during pregnancy. Results: Adjusted analyses, though not statistically significant, showed that both weight gain and physical activity were positively associated with SRS. However, the association between SRS and weight gain varied by BMI class, with normal weight and overweight women gaining less weight and obese women gaining more weight as SRS scores increased. In addition, there were significant differences for weight gain and SRS when stratified by BMI and pregnancy complications as well as for physical activity and SRS when stratified by pregnancy complications. Analyses also demonstrated a possible interaction between pregnancy complications and physical activity and weight gain. Conclusions: There was little evidence of a strong association between the maternal broad autism phenotype and physical activity or weight gain during pregnancy. This means that genetic liability is probably not a confounder of the association between lifestyle and autism risk in the EARLI study.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3955
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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