Background There is emerging evidence suggesting that offspring born to patients with rheumatic diseases has higher risk of neuropsychiatric diseases. Previous data from Quebec showed children born to women with SLE have an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) but data regarding risk of ASD in offspring of mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) mothers have not been reported in other population.
Objectives We aimed to examine whether offspring of mothers with SLE and RA in Taiwan has a higher risk of developing ASD using data from a linkage between National Health Insurance (NHI) database and National Birth Registry in Taiwan.
Methods We established a birth cohort of all live-births between 2001 and 2012 in Taiwan established using the National Health Insurance database and the National Birth Registry. Children born to mothers with SLE or RA were identified and matched up to 8 controls by maternal age, 1-minute Apgar score, 5-minute Apgar score, mode of delivery, sex of child, gestational age, birth weight, socioeconomic status (place of residence, income level, occupation). A marginal Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the relative risk (RR; 95% confidence interval [CI]) for ASD in newborns with affected mothers.
Results Of 1,893,244 newborns, 0.08% (n=1,594) were born to mothers with SLE (mean age 30.43±4.37 years old) and 0.04% (n=673) were born to mothers with RA (31.97±4.51 years old). Overall, 5 of 673 (0.74%) RA offspring developed ASD, 7 of 1594 (0.44%) SLE offspring developed ASD and 10,631 of 1,893,244 (0.56%) all infants developed ASD. The incidence of ASD was 140.39 (95% CI, 45.58–327.62) per 100,000 person-years for RA group, 76.19 (95% CI, 30.63–156.97) per 100,000 person-years for SLE group, 89.85 (95% CI, 88.15–91.57) per 100,000 person-years for non-RA group and 89.87 (95% CI, 88.17–91.60) per 100,000 person-years for non-SLE group. The children born to RA and SLE mothers did not have higher risk of ASD with a HR (95% CI) of 1.42 (0.60–3.40) and 0.76 (0.36–1.59) for ASD, respectively.
Conclusions Children born to women with SLE and RA do not have higher risk of developing ASD.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared