Journal article

The perinatal androgen to estrogen ratio and autistic-like traits in the general population: a longitudinal pregnancy cohort study

Esha SL Jamnadass, Jeffrey A Keelan, Lauren P Hollier, Martha Hickey, Murray T Maybery, Andrew JO Whitehouse



BACKGROUND: Prenatal androgen exposure has been hypothesized to be linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While previous studies have found a link between testosterone levels in amniotic fluid and autistic-like traits, a similar relationship has not been found for testosterone in umbilical cord blood. However, it may be the net biological activity of multiple androgens and estrogens that influences postnatal effects of prenatal sex steroids. Accordingly, composite levels of androgens (A) and estrogens (E) were investigated, along with their ratio, in relation to autistic-like traits in young adulthood. METHODS: Sex steroid data in umbilical cord blood were available from 860 individuals a..

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Awarded by NHMRC

Awarded by Career Development Fellowships from the NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Telethon Kids Institute for their long term contribution to funding the Raine study over the last 20 years. Core management of the Raine study has been funded by the University of Western Australia (UWA), Curtin University, the UWA Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the Raine Medical Research Foundation, the Telethon Kids Institute, and the Women's and Infants Research Foundation. The 2-year follow-up was funded by the NHMRC and the Raine Medical Research Foundation, and funding from the NHMRC (#403968) and Australian Rotary Health was used for the androgen analysis. AJOW (#1004065) and MH are funded by Career Development Fellowships from the NHMRC; JAK is funded by the Women and Infants' Research Foundation. This study was partly funded by NHMRC Project Grant #1003424. The authors are extremely grateful to the study participants and their families, as well as the whole Raine Study Team which includes the Cohort Manager, Data Manager, and data collection researchers.