When a fetus is exposed to high blood glucose because of maternal diabetes, this can have long-lasting effects on development. A new study examined whether exposure to maternal diabetes during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders in children.

Dr. Anny Xiang from Kaiser Permanente in southern California and co-authors reviewed the medical records of more than 322 thousand children born at Kaiser Permanente Hospitals between 1995 and 2009. They identified the mothers’ diabetes status during pregnancy and also examined how many children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The study appears in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.

If you would like to read the full study in JAMA, click here.