Risk factors for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children with Down syndrome: A case control study

Zenab Idris Yusuf, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background- The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder is on the rise, and previous studies have shown that children with Down syndrome are at a higher risk for Autism compared to the general population. Prior studies have reported various risk factors associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders such as genetic, environmental, biological, and developmental factors. These studies have been done on the general population and no study has been done to explore these risk factors in children with Down syndrome. Therefore a subset of 519 Down syndrome children from the Autism and Down syndrome clinic of the Texas Children’s Hospital dataset were analyzed for perinatal, parental, and socioeconomic characteristics in this case-control study.^ Objectives- To determine risk factors associated with an increased odds of Autism Spectrum Disorders in autistic and non-autistic children with Down syndrome children.^ Method- 40 cases and 479 controls were identified through medical records. Analyses by univariable and multivariable logistic regression produced odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.^ Results- Adjusted odds ratio showed that there was an increased strength of association seen in ASD cases being Caucasian (OR=1.45, CI; 0.46-4.07) and older mothers (OR=2.66, 95% CI; 0.83-8.50) than controls after adjusting for gender, child’s age at first visit, gestational age, maternal education, and parental age at delivery. Child’s age at first visit was shown to be statistically significant and associated with an increased odds for Autism Spectrum Disorders in our population in this study. Results suggest that missing values may have played a role in our associations being biased toward the null. Results from this study should be interpreted with caution.^

Subject Area

Public health education|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Yusuf, Zenab Idris, "Risk factors for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children with Down syndrome: A case control study" (2015). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1604158.