Clin Exp Pediatr > Accepted Articles
DOI:    [Accepted]
Published online September 24, 2021.
Is fetal nuchal cord associated with autism spectrum disorder? A meta-analysis
Ensiyeh Jenabi1  , Maryam Ahmadi2  , Azam Maleki3 
1Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
2Clinical Research Development Unit of Fatemieh Hospital, Department of Gynecology, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
3Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran
Azam Maleki, Email:
Received: 21 April 2021   • Revised: 26 August 2021   • Accepted: 13 September 2021
There is inconsistent evidence about the association between fetal nuchal cord and the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We performed a meta-analysis to investigate whether fetal nuchal cord is associated with an increased risk of ASD in offspring.
Three main English databases were searched until January 2021. The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess study quality. Study heterogeneity was determined using the I2 statistic, while publication bias was assessed using Begg’s and Egger’s tests. Results are presented as odds ratios (ORs) and relative ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CI) and were determined by a random-effects model.
Five articles (one cohort, four case-control; 3088 total children) were included in the present meta-analysis. Fetal nuchal cord was not a risk factor for ASD (OR=1.11; 95% CI, 0.66–1.57). There was homogeneity among studies that reported a risk of ASD (I2=0.0%).
Our results showed that fetal nuchal cord is not a risk factor for ASD. Future large cohort studies should confirm this finding.
Key Words: Autism spectrum disorder, Fetal nuchal cord, Meta-analysis

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