_PUBLIC HEALTH

_Mom, Take Your Vitamins

One more reason mothers should take a multivitamin during pregnancy.

_Brian Lee

Lee is an associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health and a fellow in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

Pregnant women are given lists of “do’s and don’ts” for what to do, eat, drink and take during pregnancy — and a study led by the Dornsife School of Public Health adds one more item to that list. The study found that if an expecting mother took multivitamins during her pregnancy, her child was roughly 30 percent less likely to develop autism with a co-occurring intellectual disability.

“A potential link between supplement use during pregnancy and autism is intriguing because it suggests a possible avenue for risk reduction,” says Associate Professor Brian Lee, who is a fellow in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and senior author of the study. The study’s lead author is Elizabeth DeVilbiss, a recent doctoral graduate of the Dornsife School of Public Health.

The decline in risk linked to multivitamin use only seemed to be tied to autism with intellectual disabilities attached, since the odds of developing autism without an intellectual disability did not seem to be affected.

This study furthers research being conducted in the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute of the autism risk linked to diet during pregnancy, of which comparatively little is known.