DOI: 10.1002/aur.3008 ISSN:

Risk factors and clinical characteristics of autism spectrum disorder with regression in China

Lu Han, Luyang Guan, Ziyi Zhang, Wenqing Li, Jinhui Li, Chenxi Bao, Mei Ye, Min Tang, Xiaoyan Ke
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • General Neuroscience


Autism spectrum disorder with regression (ASD‐R) is characterized by the loss of previously acquired skills during the initial year of life. This study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics, patterns of regression, and potential risk factors associated with ASD‐R in the Chinese Han population. A case–control study was conducted between September 2020 and March 2022. A total of 186 children were enrolled, including 58 children with ASD‐R, 70 with ASD without regression (ASD‐NR), and 58 typically developing children. Demographic information, clinical characteristics, and potential risk factors related to ASD‐R were assessed using a combination of questionnaires, interviews, and physician assessments. The results revealed that children with ASD‐R exhibited more severe impairments in social communication and stereotyped behaviors compared with those with ASD‐NR. Language regression, constituting 40% of cases within the ASD‐R group, was found to be the most common type of regression. Furthermore, our analysis revealed that fever (OR = 4.01, 95% CI: 1.26–12.76) and diarrhea (OR = 6.32, 95% CI: 1.38–29.03) were identified as significant risk factors for ASD‐R. These findings contribute to our understanding of the heterogeneity of ASD and highlight the importance of considering immune responses and gastrointestinal factors in the etiology of ASD‐R.

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