08 April 2019

Risk of developmental disorders in children of immigrant mothers: A population-based data linkage evaluation

This research evaluated the prevalence and risks of developmental disability (autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy) in Western Australian children of different groups of foreign-born women. Although the study did not find an increased prevalence across all the measured developmental outcomes among children born to foreign-born women, there was an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability and cerebral palsy with intellectual disability for mothers of some foreign-born groups. After adjusting for smoking, the relative risks of intellectual disability and cerebral palsy with intellectual disability were markedly decreased in children of Australian-born Indigenous mothers. The authors argued this finding related to smoking in the Indigenous population underscores its possible role on the causal pathway to intellectual disability.