Autism a risk factor for cardiovascular disease: Study

Autism a risk factor for cardiovascular disease: Study

BALTIMORE – Physicians at Kennedy Krieger Institute recommend that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receive screening for abnormally high or low cholesterol levels at least once during their childhood, as ASD is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in both children and adults. The recommendation resulted from a recent study that found reduced levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), known as the good cholesterol, in individuals from families with two or more children with ASD. In addition, they found reduced or elevated levels of other lipids, apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1) and apolipoprotein B (ApoB). Individuals with low HDL-C levels or ApoA1 levels had lower adaptive functioning than other individuals with ASD. The study’s results were published in Translational Psychiatry . Autism Speaks funded part of this study and supplied the plasma samples from participants in the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). Physicians and researchers from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health also participated in the research. Physicians from Children’s National Hospital assisted with the cholestoral recommendations. “This latest research is part of our ongoing work to understand some of the co-occurring conditions with ASD,” said Elaine Tierney, MD, a child and […]

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