Objectives: To study the association of ASD with inherited medical disorders including congenital disorders in terms of contributing to the common knowledge of associated medical disorders. This study may have implications for studying etiological factors of autism spectrum disorders.
Methods: A population-based cohort including a total of approximately 1.5 mio individuals born in Denmark 1980-2003 was identified. The cohort members were checked for medical disorders registered in the Danish National Patient Registry that were previously hypothesized to be associated with autism. Information on autism was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register which included analyses of both childhood autism and ASD. We considered both the medical disorder as the exposure and ASD as the outcome and vice versa ASD in the child as the exposure and the medical disorder as the outcome. Follow-up time began for all children from birth and continued until the diagnosis of ASD, death, or the end of follow-up, on December 31, 2008.
This study does not include infectious disorders seen in individuals with ASD.
Results: The preliminary findings in our study show association between ASD and congenital hypothyroidism, epilepsy, chromosomal abnormalities, and congenital anomalies.
Conclusions: Our study confirms previous findings of association of ASD with medical disorders like epilepsy and congenital hypothyroidism. We also contribute to the discussion about a possible association between autism and some inherited medical disorders and congenital malformations including certain chromosome abnormalities.