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Father’s obesity linked to autism in children

A father's unhealthily high body mass index may influence the risk of his child developing autism, a new study suggests.

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A father-to-be’s weight may be a greater factor in his child’s risk of developing autism than the weight of the mother.

A new study looked at more than 92,000 children and found that obesity — defined as a body mass index of 30 or greater — in the father was associated with an increased risk of autism and Asperger syndrome in his child. A mother’s obesity was only weakly associated with risk for the disorders, researchers report April 7 in Pediatrics. The associations should be tested further in genetic and epigenetic studies, the scientists note.

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