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High rate of autism signs found in children born prematurely

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Published: 2 Apr 2008

About a quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test, a study has found. The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn’t done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought. That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

About a quarter of babies born very prematurely had signs of autism on an early screening test, a study has found. The research is preliminary since formal autism testing wasn’t done. But the results are provocative, suggesting that tiny preemies may face greater risks of developing autism than previously thought. That suggests autism may be an under-appreciated consequence of medical advances enabling the tiniest of premature babies to survive, said lead author Catherine Limperopoulos, a researcher at McGill University and Children’s Hospital in Boston.
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