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Study Links Induced Labor to Autism

There is a disturbing trend present in American society today. That is the apparent need for everything to be done yesterday. Perhaps a better way to phrase that is that society is obsessed with speed. It used to be in the 50s and 60s that folks were told to relax and try to enjoy life. That has now been replaced with a culture that says everything is needed, and it is needed fast.

Congress is probably the only entity where there is not a feeling of getting things done quick. The same cannot be said of the health care industry. Medicine has almost because mechanical in nature, with an assembly line mentality. Get the patient in, cut them open, and then get them home in under two days.

This need for speed could be the reason that malpractice suits are up, but hospitals are not the only guilty culprits. In the area of giving birth, the speed quotient has also been ramped up. Some women are insisting now on being induced or augmented, so as to dictate when the baby will come. A new study, done by researchers at Duke University and the University of Michigan, could show that to be a concerning decision by birth mothers.

This study showed some evidence of these induced births being a possible cause of autism. Now, before every induced woman starts running to the Pediatrician for testing on their newborn, a few things should be noted. The researchers are quick to point out that more studies need to be done while also saying that the medical profession should not change their procedures quite yet.

The result though have to be alarming, when coupled with statistics posted in a Wall Street Journal piece. The numbers, which come from the National Vital Statistics Reports, said, “In 2010, 23.4% of deliveries were induced, an increase from 9.5% in the early 1990s. Data from 2002, the most recent available, show 17.3% of deliveries were augmented that year; only 10.9% were in 1989.”

The research was done from birth records in North Carolina, for the period of 1990-1998. The data collectors went through the birth records, and then compared them to school records of children with a documented cases of autism diagnosed by a psychologist. The numbers showed a definite cause for concern.

The results showed that mothers who were induced had higher instances of autistic children than mothers who did not. If a woman was both induced and augmented, the risk of an autistic child rose by 23 percent. For those not familiar with the augmentation term, it means increasing the strength, duration or frequency of uterine contractions once a woman has gone into labor. The researchers also found that male children had a higher risk of being autistic.

As mentioned earlier, the study is quick to say more testing has to be done. That is because they are not quite sure yet whether it is the inducing and augmenting that is causing the issue, or the underlying reason that the procedure is being done is the bigger factor.