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Neonatal jaundice in association with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disorder



To examine the association between neonatal jaundice and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and non-ASD developmental disorder (DD).

Study design

We analyzed data from the Study to Explore Early Development, a US multisite, case-control study conducted from 2007 to 2011. Developmental assessment classified children aged 2–5 years into: ASD (n = 636), DD (n = 777), or controls (POP; n = 926). Neonatal jaundice (n = 1054) was identified from medical records and maternal interviews. We examined associations between neonatal jaundice and ASD and DD using regression models to obtain adjusted odds ratios (aOR).


Our results showed interaction between gestational age and neonatal jaundice. Neonatal jaundice was associated with ASD at 35–37 weeks (aOR = 1.83, 95%CI 1.05, 3.19), but not ≥38 weeks gestation (aOR = 0.97, 95%CI 0.76, 1.24). Similar results were observed with DD.


Further exploration of timing and severity of neonatal jaundice and ASD/DD is warranted.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Chyrise Bradley for study coordination assistance. CC was supported by NICHD T32HD052468—Training Program in Reproductive, Perinatal and Pediatric Epidemiology. The Study to Explore Early Development is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000180, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and U10DD000750, University of Colorado Denver; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000181, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute (CA); Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000182, University of Pennsylvania; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000183, Johns Hopkins University; Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000184, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Cooperative Agreement Number U10DD000498, Michigan State University.

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Correspondence to Christina Cordero.

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Cordero, C., Schieve, L.A., Croen, L.A. et al. Neonatal jaundice in association with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disorder. J Perinatol 40, 219–225 (2020).

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