Mothers of infants aged up to 3 years who have autism are more likely to report the children have gastrointestinal symptoms of constipation, diarrhea and food allergy or intolerance, finds a study collecting 10 years of prospective data.

The forward-looking study – that is, one designed in advance to test associations, as opposed to a retrospective study that would look back over data for links – is published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms reported by mothers were more common and more frequently persistent in the babies and small children with autism spectrum disorder than either in those with “typical” development for the age group, or in those with developmental delay.

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