Fetal exposure to preeclampsia, and in particular, severe disease, may raise the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delay (DD), a large population-based study suggests.

Results from the Northern California–based Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study show that exposure to preeclampsia in utero was associated with a greater than twofold increased risk for ASD and a greater than fivefold increased risk for DD, compared with no exposure.

The study was published online December 8 in JAMA Pediatrics

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