A new Israeli study suggests a link between autism and in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
"Dr. Ditza Zachor of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine reported a strong link between IVF and mild to moderate cases of autism. According to her research at the Autism Center at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel, which Dr. Zachor directs, 10.5 percent of 461 children diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum were conceived using IVF, a significantly higher number than the 3.5 percent autism rate in the general Israeli population."
Autism is growing around the world at an alarming rate and nobody is sure why. Because of this, autism has been linked to almost everything. Don't believe me? Check out Wikipedia's extensive list.
In recent years, the following have all been linked to autism in some way:
Vaccines: This was based on a highly controversial series of studies led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that were later disproven, and the doctor lost his license because of ethical violations. Many are still reluctant about vaccination as a result.
Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes in the mother during pregnancy is a risk factor for autism. A 2009 meta-analysis found that gestational diabetes was associated with a twofold increased risk.
Pesticides: A study by the California Department of Public Health found that women in the first eight weeks of pregnancy who live near farm fields sprayed with the organochlorine pesticides dicofol and endosulfan were several times more likely to give birth to children with autism.
Ultrasound: A 2006 study from Yale University found a link, but the findings are still hotly debated and controversial.
Do these scare you?
Image via jurvetson/Flickr