Study: Autism risk increases with timing of pregnancies

Parents planning more than one baby may have another reason for giving extra thought to the timing: A new study shows that the risk of autism may go up when a second child is conceived shortly after the first is born.

Columbia University researchers found that the risk of an autism diagnosis in a second-born child rose more than three-fold when the child was conceived within 12 months of the birth of the first baby, according to the study which was published online Monday in Pediatrics.

And second-borns conceived between 12 and 23 months after a first child was born had twice the risk of being diagnosed with autism compared to babies conceived a full three years after an older sibling was born.

Full story: Autism risk rises in closely spaced pregnancies, study finds