Frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders and association with family history of autoimmune disease

Maria D.R. Valicenti-McDermott, Kathryn McVicar, Isabelle Rapin, Barry K. Wershil, Herbert Cohen, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

183 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This is a cross-sectional study that compares lifetime prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and children with typical development and with other developmental disabilities (DDs) and examines the association of GI symptoms with a family history of autoimmune disease. A structured interview was performed in 50 children with ASD and 2 control groups matched for age, sex, and ethnicity-50 with typical development and 50 with other DDs. Seventy-four percent were boys with a mean age of 7.6 years (SD, ±3.6). A history of GI symptoms was elicited in 70% of children with ASD compared with 28% of children with typical development (p <.001) and 42% of children with DD (p =.03). Abnormal stool pattern was more common in children with ASD (18%) than controls (typical development: 4%, p =.039; DD: 2%, p =.021). Food selectivity was also higher in children with ASD (60%) compared with those with typical development (22%, p =.001) and DD (36%, p =.023). Family history of autoimmune disease was reported in 38% of the ASD group and 34% of controls and was not associated with a differential rate of GI symptoms. In the multivariate analysis, autism (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 3.8; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.7-11.2) and food selectivity (adjusted OR, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.8-9.1) were associated with GI symptoms. Children with ASD have a higher rate of GI symptoms than children with either typical development or other DDs. In this study, there was no association between a family history of autoimmune disease and GI symptoms in children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume27
Issue number2 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Apr 2006

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Autistic Disorder
Autoimmune Diseases
Developmental Disabilities
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Food
Control Groups
Disabled Children
Multivariate Analysis
Cross-Sectional Studies
Interviews

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune
  • Children
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Food selectivity
  • Gastrointestinal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders and association with family history of autoimmune disease. / Valicenti-McDermott, Maria D.R.; McVicar, Kathryn; Rapin, Isabelle; Wershil, Barry K.; Cohen, Herbert; Shinnar, Shlomo.

In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol. 27, No. 2 SUPPL. 2, 04.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "This is a cross-sectional study that compares lifetime prevalence of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and children with typical development and with other developmental disabilities (DDs) and examines the association of GI symptoms with a family history of autoimmune disease. A structured interview was performed in 50 children with ASD and 2 control groups matched for age, sex, and ethnicity-50 with typical development and 50 with other DDs. Seventy-four percent were boys with a mean age of 7.6 years (SD, ±3.6). A history of GI symptoms was elicited in 70{\%} of children with ASD compared with 28{\%} of children with typical development (p <.001) and 42{\%} of children with DD (p =.03). Abnormal stool pattern was more common in children with ASD (18{\%}) than controls (typical development: 4{\%}, p =.039; DD: 2{\%}, p =.021). Food selectivity was also higher in children with ASD (60{\%}) compared with those with typical development (22{\%}, p =.001) and DD (36{\%}, p =.023). Family history of autoimmune disease was reported in 38{\%} of the ASD group and 34{\%} of controls and was not associated with a differential rate of GI symptoms. In the multivariate analysis, autism (adjusted odds ratio (OR), 3.8; 95{\%} confidence interval (CI), 1.7-11.2) and food selectivity (adjusted OR, 4.1; 95{\%} CI, 1.8-9.1) were associated with GI symptoms. Children with ASD have a higher rate of GI symptoms than children with either typical development or other DDs. In this study, there was no association between a family history of autoimmune disease and GI symptoms in children with ASD.",
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