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Autism more common in babies who had jaundice

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

October 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study by Dutch researchers found that autism is more common in babies who had jaundice at birth. The scientists said it is possible that children genetically predisposed to autism might also be more vulnerable to jaundice. However, researchers said new parents shouldn't be alarmed if their infants have jaundice because there's no evidence jaundice causes autism.

In the Danish study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, almost 9 percent of autistic children had jaundice as newborns, compared with 3 percent among children who weren't autistic.

A mild form of jaundice is fairly common and generally harmless. It causes a temporary yellowish tinge to the skin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.