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Diabetes that develops early in pregnancy may increase women's chances of having a child with autism, a new study has said.Those whose mothers developed gestational diabetes by the 26th week of pregnancy were 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with autism than those whose moms didn't have diabetes. Of about 3,400 autistic children, 130 were exposed to diabetes early in pregnancy.In the study, youngsters whose mothers had pre-existing diabetes or developed it later in pregnancy faced no extra autism risk.Gestational diabetes is thought to affect up to about 14 percent of U.S. pregnancies.STUDY LIMITATIONSSome previous studies linked diabetes in mothers with autism but lacked details on gestational versus pre-existing diabetes.
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