CHD AND AUTISM CONNECTION?

I read an article today that just intrigued me. The article’s headline read, “Children with Congenital Heart Defects Have Increased Odds of Autism”. I have a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) and Autism, so this article instantly grabbed my attention. According to the article, a “Large study” shows that “children who are born with heart problems are 32% more likely to have Autism than their typical peers.”
Me personally? I don’t know if the study is 100% completely accurate, but to me, the similarities are eerie. Apart from myself, Allie, my girlfriend, also has CHD and Autism. To me, this seems like something more than a mere coincidence.
The validity of this study, to me, seems perfectly legitimate. Let me explain. This is a real study and not just a bunch of whack job parents who blame the fact their kid(s) have Autism on whatever they can. This is a real study with real results done by real doctors and researchers.
The article states that, “a 2017 study in Taiwan showed that children with heart defects have double the odds of having Autism.” The study’s lead investigator, Matthew Oster, and his team found that, according to the United States Military Health System Data Repository, “Children born from October 2000-October 2011 who had been in the system (of Autism diagnosis) for at least two years. They identified 35,040 children: 8,760 diagnosed with Autism and three age-and sex-matched controls for each.”
What is interesting to me are the results of the study. The research team “presumed that Autism would be strongly associated with severe heart defects, which can alter blood flow to the brain during gestation or soon after birth.” Interestingly, what they found was kind of the opposite. The study, “Instead found a strong link to relatively mild heart defects, which do not usually alter blood flow, such as having a hole in the wall between heart chambers.”
The article mentions an unpublished work from an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Houston named Sonia Monteiro. She and her team found that “Children who have undergone open heart surgery have increased odds of an Autism diagnosis.”
To me, I think this is a really interesting connection concept and study. I think it deserves more research and more observation, possibly in adults as well as children. I know I have debunked so-called “causes” of Autism in the past (circumcision, vaccines, etc.) but I really do think there is a lot of circumstantial evidence and validity here. I have attached a link to the article. I suggest you read it for yourselves and form your own opinions and conclusions. Thanks for reading!
-Tom

Children with congenital heart defects have increased odds of autism

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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