Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Maternal risk factors for autism in the Nurses Health Study II – a pilot study  

Established in 1989, the Nurses Health Study II has prospectively evaluated many aspects of women's health in a cohort of over 100,000 women in the United States. The information collected on this group include medical, obstetrical, and prospectively collected dietary factors, as well as neurodevelopmental diagnosis of children born to women in this cohort. This allows for a unique opportunity to investigate a wide range of environmental factors, including maternal dietary and reproductive factors, which may be associated with risk of developing autism spectrum disorders. Diet and medical history of mothers with a child with autism, as well as those who did not report a child diagnosed with autism, will be studied using information gathered prior to pregnancy. These children and their parents will be screened using the social responsiveness scale (SRS) and then followed up by the Autism Diagnostic Instrument-Revised (ADI-R). Utility of the SRS, which measures autism severity using one quantifiable score, as a diagnostic instrument will also be investigated in this study. Project Status


Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $0.00
Project Number 1788
Principal Investigator Ascherio, Alberto
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented? (Risk Factors)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 3LD. Support ancillary studies within one or more large-scale, population-based surveillance and epidemiological studies, including U.S. populations, to collect data on environmental factors during preconception, and during prenatal and early postnatal development, as well as genetic data, that could be pooled (as needed), to analyze targets for potential gene/environment interactions by 2015. IACC Recommended Budget: $44,400,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution Harvard School of Public Health
State/Country Massachusetts
Web Link 1 Maternal risk factors for autism in the Nurses Health Study II – a pilot study (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects N/A