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JAMA Pediatrics eyes labor hurried along by drug Pitocin

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Can inducing labor cause autism?

A new study out today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics says that induced labor might be the reason for the spike in autism over the last couple of decades.

Autism is the most pervasive childhood disease today, with one child born every 20 minutes who will fall into the autism spectrum, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC. It is more prevalent than Down Syndrome, diabetes and cancer combined.

Duke University and the University of Michigan conducted the study. Researchers looked at mothers whose births were induced or hurried with the drug Pitocin and found that there may be a connection between induction and children born with autism, or ASD.

Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone that causes feelings of warmth and relationship toward others.

Pitocin, made from the pituitary glands of cattle, is used to induce or speed up labor. Its use has increased in the last two decades, according to the CDC, as has the diagnosis of autism.



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