Previous work identified three subgroups of children with ASD based upon co-occurring conditions (COCs) during the first five years of life. This work examines prenatal risk factors, given by maternal medical claims, for each of the three subgroups: children with a High-Prevalence of COCs, children with mainly developmental delay and seizures (DD/Seizure COCs), and children with a Low-Prevalence of COCs. While some risk factors are shared by all three subgroups, the majority of the factors identified for each subgroup were unique; infections, anti-inflammatory and other complex medications were associated with the High-Prevalence COCs group; immune deregulatory conditions such as asthma and joint disorders were associated with the DD/Seizure COCs group; and overall pregnancy complications were associated with the Low-Prevalence COCs group. Thus, we have found that the previously identified subgroups of children with ASD have distinct associated prenatal risk factors. As such, this work supports subgrouping children with ASD based upon COCs which may provide a framework for elucidating some of the heterogeneity associated with ASD.
Autism Research 15, No. 11, pp 2038-2055 (2022)