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Women who take folic acid and multivitamins have babies with lower autism risk

Women who took folic acid (B-vitamin) supplements or multivitamins either before or during pregnancy were less likely to give birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

This large study included 45,300 children born between 2003 and 2007 that doctors followed until 2015.

Doctors compared the vitamins and supplements in mothers of all 572 children diagnosed with ASD and in mothers of a random sampling of 14,760 children in the group who had not been diagnosed with ASD.

While pregnant, women who took either folic acid supplements or multivitamins were 73 percent less likely to give birth to a child later diagnosed with ASD compared to women who did not take folic acid or multivitamin supplements during pregnancy. Before pregnancy, women who took folic acid or multivitamin supplements were 61 percent less likely to bear offspring later diagnosed with ASD compared to women who took neither folic acid nor multivitamins.

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