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New research suggests cannabis use during pregnancy could increase risk of autism

A new Canadian study, believed to be the largest of its kind, indicates that children born to mothers who used cannabis while pregnant are more likely than other children to have autism.

Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital and affiliated institutions made that conclusion after reviewing records from more than 500,000 births in Ontario between April 2007 and March 2012.

According to their study, which was published Monday in Nature Medicine, just 0.6% of the 500,000 mothers in the study reported using cannabis during pregnancy.

The researchers found that while 1.4% of the children whose records they examined were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, that number rose to 2.2% if their mother had reported cannabis use during pregnancy.

 

*** Files from Casey Kenny ***

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