Skeletal Growth Dysregulation in Australian Male Infants and Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Recent findings suggest that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are larger in size for head circumference (HC), height, and weight compared to typically developing (TD) children; however, little is known about their rate of growth, especially in height and weight. The current study aimed to: (a) confirm and extend upon previous findings of early generalized overgrowth in ASD; and (b) determine if there were any differences in the rate of growth between infants and toddlers with ASD compared to their TD peers. Measurements of HC, height, and weight were available for 135 boys with ASD and 74 TD boys, from birth through 3 years of age. Size and growth rate in HC, height, and weight were analyzed using a linear mixed-effects model. Infants with ASD were significantly smaller in size at birth for HC, body length, and weight compared to TD infants (all P < 0.05); however, they grew at a significantly faster rate in HC and height in comparison to the TD children (P < 0.001); there was no significant difference between the groups in growth rate for weight (P > 0.05). The results confirmed that male infants and toddlers with ASD exhibit skeletal growth dysregulation early in life. Autism Res 2018, 11: 846-856. © 2018 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. LAY SUMMARY:Recent findings suggest that infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are smaller in size at birth compared to typically developing infants but grow larger than their peers during the first year. Little is known about their rate of growth, especially for height and weight. Our findings confirmed that infants with ASD are smaller in size at birth for head circumference (HC), height, and weight, but grow at a faster rate in HC and height than their peers from birth to 3 years.
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