Autism and Immediate Cord Clamping?

There’s yet another theory floating around concerning a possible cause of some cases of autism. Here’s a fellow who talks about it in some detail.

Basically, the idea is that autism correlates with anemia and that infants need more blood from the placenta than they are permitted to receive if the cord is clamped immediately (within 30 seconds, as opposed to after 2 minutes). So perhaps untreated anemia in the first year is causing some manner of malformation in the brains of children who later become autistic.

Here’s a cite on that autism/anemia bit, just so we don’t get too sidetracked on an assertion.

I poked around and looked at the abstracts from conventional medical journals, and they definitely reported that delaying clamping and cutting the umbilical cord meant the newborn’s iron level (hemocrit?) was higher. This is the one I read. None of the studies, that I saw, went back 3 or 6 years later to see if those particular newborns’ iron levels (particularly the ones that were low) correlated with autism.

Anybody wanna shoot it down? Or might this have some merit?

Jeez, I thought Amish behavior was an indicator of autism. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not being a medical person or a scientist, all I can say is that it]s an interesting idea that deserves research. There was some information in the link which stronly suggests it’s not so simply cut and dried. If it was solely the clamping, I would think the infants of Somali immigrants would be the same as other children born under the same conditions, but it is apparently much higher.

Gotta stand with Boyo here. There ain’t much supporting the OP’s claim, especially since OB nurses were probably no less ardent in doing well by their charges 50 yrs ago, but the diagnosis of autism keeps growing.

What are the figures comparing autism diagnoses vs mental retardation diagnoses over the past 50 years? And is there any statistic that compares (please excuse the archaic terms, but it’s what we’re comparing) Retards vs Oddball Kids? 40 years ago we had no autistic kids, just that choice vs us “normals.”

If it were true, no midwife born babies would have autism, since delayed cord clamping is a cornerstone of evidence based midwifery practice.
Homebirth babies still seem to have autism, even though they all got delayed cord clamping and seem to get (IME) fewer vaccines, if you want to go there.

Well that’s what I was wondering, if homebirthed babies (for example) had delayed cord clamping and what the incidence of autism was in that population.

Sending this to General Questions to see if there is research or a factual answer here.

Boyo Jim writes:

> Jeez, I thought Amish behavior was an indicator of autism.

Let’s see now. The number of Amish is increasing. The amount of autism is increasing. Yeah, that must be it.

I googled this and couldn’t find anything. You’d think it would be relatively simple to find out if home birthed babies have less autism than hospital birthed ones. In my googling, though, I came across the Vitamin D theory of autism, which I found interesting. I’d also expect sun exposure levels would be higher both in the Amish and native Somalians.

One counterpoint to that theory: people with XLHhave a genetic vitamin-D deficit, in that they cannot process it properly. Autism does not seem to be more prevalent among this population, as far as I know, and I’m married into a family of them.

I know anecdote is not the singular of data, but there are two cases of autism spectrum disorder in my extended family, and both of them had circulatory or brain oxygenation issues at or soon after birth. In one case, as I understand it, the umbilical cord became wrapped around the baby’s neck so he was being strangled while he was being born. In the other case I am less clear what the issue was, but I do know he had to have an operation to correct a serious circulatory problem shortly (days or maybe weeks) after birth. (What I think I remember being told is that he somehow had his heart hooked up wrongly to the incoming and outgoing blood vessels, so that the blood was going the wrong way through his lungs and not getting properly oxygenated. The operation had to swap some of the connections to the heart around. Does any of that sound likely?)

In any case, both thee cases, together with what is being said about cord clamping, seems to be to suggest that lack of oxygen in the brain at or around birth might be relevant.

I believe you are referring here to the congenital syndrome called “Transposition of the Great Vessels” (sometimes also called “Transposition of the Great Arteries”).

Wiki link #1

Wiki link #2

fessie’s first link mentions this silliness was proposed by Dan Olmsted, a well known anti-vax proponent. Checking Olmsted’s entry on Wiki, I read (bolding mine)-

The footnotes lead to the New England Journal of Medicine (a publication with some standards)
and a blog (fewer sandards, but with cites)

And there is this blog, with a few more interesting cites

Long story short - The Amish have autism.

It’s so amusing how we answer the question we WANT to answer, not the one that’s posed.

I didn’t say anything about vaccines, (that moron) Dan Olmstead nor the Amish in my OP.

I linked to that particular blog b/c it also includes an interesting comment (it’s #5). That author isn’t the only one to propose the theory, I saw a couple of older articles on the subject (1998 and 2002 IIRC) when I Googled.

I read in the main body of your link -


I guess I was just confused on the point of the link. Sorry.

One of the fastest growing segments of Autism diagnosis is the higher level functioning levels of autism like Asperger’s Syndrome. Earlier diagnoses of such kids were simply “nerdy” and having “poor socialization skills” or are like an “absentminded professor”. Now, they’re considered to have autism. That greatly increases the rate of autism in this country.

I also suspect that lower functioning people with autism were simply earlier diagnosed as simply “retarded” without the autism aspect. Again, better diagnoses increases the number of kids diagnosed with autism.

I know the same thing happened with ADHD. Boys were only diagnosed with ADHD if they literally couldn’t sit still. Those that seemed to be in their own little world never got diagnosed. Girls, of course, were rarely diagnosed because “Girls don’t get ADHD”. Now, we know a bit better, and more kids are getting diagnosed.

An increase in diagnoses of a particular disease or syndrome doesn’t necessarily show an increase in the disease. It can also show that there are better diagnostic tools around.

This is one of the more prominent papers comparing the prevalence of autism to other developmental disorders.

It only covers nine years but during that period, when the prevalence of autism increased from 0.6 to 3.1 per 1000, “the prevalence of mental retardation and learning disabilities declined by 2.8 and 8.3 per 1000, respectively.”

The authors conclude much as you suspect–the increase in autism diagnoses is due to diagnosing as autism disorders which would have previously been diagnosed as something else. Other researchers think the rise may also be due in part to increased awareness of autism-spectrum disorders both among physicians and parents.