There has been significant research carried out into autism and its risks in recent times, and the latest piece published has been regarded as a ‘landmark’ study.
In what is the largest-ever multinational study of parental age and autism risk, researchers found there were increased autism rates among the children of teen mums, as well as kids whose parents have large gaps between their ages.
Furthermore, the study reiterated previous claims that older parents are at higher risk of having children with autism.
The study, which was carried out to include 5.7 million children across five countries, was published today in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry.
Commenting on the study, co-author Dr Sven Sandin said: “After finding that paternal age, maternal age and parental-age gaps all influence autism risk independently, we calculated which aspect was most important. It turned out to be parental age, though age gaps also contribute significantly.”
With regard to their findings on age gaps, the researchers found that the risk was higher where there was a gap of 10 years or more between parental age.
The researchers suggested that future studies should focus specifically on the age gap aspect.