In a population-based study, we examined the associations of maternal plasma folate concentrations at 13 weeks of gestation and prenatal folic acid supplement use with autistic traits in the offspring at the age of six years. Parent-reported autistic traits were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale short form. Maternal folate was not associated with autistic traits in the offspring. In contrast, prenatal folic acid use was associated with less child autistic traits. Future research should focus on the timing of the potential effect of prenatal folate on the development of autistic traits in combination with clinical diagnosis of autism in the offspring.

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Journal European Journal of Public Health
Grant This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/212652 - “Effect of diet on the mental performance of children” (NUTRIMENTHE)
Steenweg-de Graaff, J.C.J, Ghassabian, A, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Tiemeier, H.W, & Roza, S.J. (2015). Folate concentrations during pregnancy and autistic traits in the offspring. the Generation R Study. European Journal of Public Health, 25(3), 431–433. doi:10.1093/eurpub/cku126