Study Links Autism to Parental Occupation
According to a new UTHealth research, autism rates are higher among children of fathers in technical jobs.
A research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has found that children of fathers who are in technical occupations are more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder. The researchers at UTHealth's Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences used the United States government's Standard Occupational Classification system during the LoneStar LEND program.
Parents were divided into those who had more non-people-oriented jobs (technical) or more people-oriented jobs (non-technical).
It was found that fathers who worked in engineering were two times as likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Those who worked in finance were four times more likely and those who worked in health care occupations were six times more likely to have a child on the autism spectrum. The researchers found no association of autism with a mother's occupation. However, children who had both parents in technical fields were at a higher risk of having a more severe form of autism.
UTHealth’s Dr. Aisha S. Dickerson, a researcher at UTHealth’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences and served as first author on the study said that parental occupation could be indicative of autistic-like behaviours. The preferences of parents may serve as another factor in a clinician's diagnosis of a child with suspected autism.
As of now, there is not much scientific evidence to pin-point a single cause for autism, but it is understood that the disorder is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Over the years, scientists have been investigating a number of theories, including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems. A few studies have supported the theory that the disorder has a genetic basis. However, no specific gene has been identified as cause for autism.
The rise of autism across the globe has led researchers to investigate what environmental, genetic and lifestyle are behind it. The study findings were presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta.
(Source: Nature World News)
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team May 19, 2014
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