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The risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is largely determined by genetics, suggests a study in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers analyzed data from more than 2 million individuals from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Israel, and Australia born between 1998 and 2012, of whom 22,156 were diagnosed with ASD. They looked at outcomes among family members and considered factors such as shared environments and genetic connections and found that ASD heritability across all participants was 80.8%. The data also suggested that heritability varied modestly across countries. According to the researchers, the study indicates that maternal factors (such as the mother’s nutrient intake, parenting style or the mode or timing of her child’s delivery) and other environmental factors (such as air pollution and vaccinations) play little or no role in the development of autism. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives