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Autism and Flu, Cholesterol test

New evidence out this week finds children whose mothers had the flu or a fever lasting more than a week while they were pregnant may be at a higher risk of developing autism, Current guidelines recommend we fast anywhere from six to twelve hours before having our cholesterol checked.

Autism and Flu

New evidence out this week finds children whose mothers had the flu or a fever lasting more than a week while they were pregnant may be at a higher risk of developing autism.

The large Danish study looked at nearly 97,000 children born between 1997 and 2003.

Their mothers were screened to see if they had any infections, used antibiotics or had long periods of fever during their pregnancies.

Researchers found no association between autism and minor infections, such as respiratory ailments, or urinary and genital infections.

But when it came to influenza during pregnancy, the risk of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder before the age of three was twice as high for those children.

And if the mothers had a fever lasting more than a week while carrying a baby, that child had a three times greater risk of developing autism than other children.

Researchers also found mothers who took antibiotics during their pregnancy had a small risk of having children with autism.

Investigators say there may statistical shortcomings in their data, and more research needs to be done to better understand the connection.

Cholesterol test

Current guidelines recommend we fast anywhere from six to twelve hours before having our cholesterol checked.

But a new Canadian study finds fasting before a routine cholesterol screening may be unnecessary.

The cholesterol test checks the level of fat in your blood.

So doctors recommend fasting, for fear that any food consumed and the resulting fat it would produce in the blood stream could throw off the results.

Researchers analyzed the cholesterol screenings of more than 209 thousand people.

They found very little difference in cholesterol levels among people with various fasting times.

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