Gastrointestinal (GI) comorbidities are frequently described in association with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the prevalence of GI disturbances and the age at which such problems first appear are unclear, and their specificity for ASD compared with other neurodevelopmental disorders is uncertain.
To compare maternal report of GI symptoms during the first 3 years of life in children with ASD, developmental delay (DD), and typical development (TD).
This large prospective cohort study consists of participants in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. During a 10-year period (January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2008), women throughout Norway were recruited at the first prenatal ultrasonographic visit (approximately 18 weeks' gestation). The study enrolled 95,278 mothers, 75,248 fathers, and 114,516 children. Our analyses are based on MoBa data released through October 1, 2013, and NPR diagnoses registered through December 31, 2012, and include children born from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2008, with completed age 18- and 36-month questionnaires.
We defined 3 groups of children: children with ASD (n = 195), children with DD and delayed language and/or motor development (n = 4636), and children with TD (n = 40?,95).
The GI symptoms were based on maternal report of constipation, diarrhea, and food allergy/intolerance.
Children with ASD were at significantly increased odds of maternally reported constipation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.7; 95% CI, 1.9-3.8; P