Birth gap and the recurrence risk of autism spectrum disorders: A population-based cohort study

Michael Beenstock*, Raanan Raz, Hagai Levine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Population-based data on the magnitude and determinants of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) recurrence risk in families with an index case are rare. We examined whether short birth gaps and other birth spacing factors increase the risk of recurrence, using a population-based cohort study in Israel. We examined records of younger siblings of index cases (children diagnosed with ASD), and estimated recurrence risk and its determinants. Overall, 5.25% (261/4976) of younger siblings were diagnosed with ASD. Younger siblings with birth gaps less than two years of their index case had significantly higher risk compared to the rest (odds ratio = 1.66, 95% CI 1.25-2.22). The association remained significant in models adjusted for sex of the index cases and their younger siblings, ethnicity, parental ages and birth order (odds ratio = 1.43, CI 1.03-1.96). This finding suggests that short birth gaps from the index case increase the risk of ASD among younger siblings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Autism spectrum disorder recurrence risk
  • Birth gap
  • Birth order
  • Birth spacing
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk


Dive into the research topics of 'Birth gap and the recurrence risk of autism spectrum disorders: A population-based cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this