Gestational Age in Autistic Children and Adolescents: Prevalence and Effects on Autism Phenotype

Miriam I. Martini*, Inge Merkelbach, Sander Begeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Pre- and post-term children show increased autism risk. Little is known about gestational age (GA) prevalence among autistic children, and their respective autism phenotype. We compared prevalence of pre-, full- and post-term birth between a population-derived sample of N = 606 (137 females, 22.61%) autistic children and adolescents (mean age = 14.01, SD = 3.63, range 3–24) from the Netherlands Autism Register, and matched controls from the Dutch birth register. Autism phenotype and comorbid symptoms were assessed with the AQ-short and SDQ questionnaires. Using logistic regression, we found higher prevalence of pre- and post-term birth among autistic individuals but no phenotypical differences across GA groups. Autism risk was particularly elevated for post-term children, highlighting the need for closer investigation of autism on the whole GA range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1906-1914
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number5
Early online date7 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the participants of the Netherlands Autism Register.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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