Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with early onset in utero or childhood. Environmental exposure to six metals (Pb, Hg, As, Cd, Mn, Al) is believed to be associated with ASD directly or interactively with genes. Objective: To assess the association of ASD among Pakistani children with the six metals and genotype frequencies of three GST genes (GSTP1, GSTM1, GSTT1).
Methods: We enrolled 30 ASD cases, age 2-12 years old, and 30 age- and sex-matched typically developing (TD) controls in Karachi, Pakistan. We assessed associations of ASD status with various factors using Conditional Logistic Regression models. We also used General Linear Models to assess possible interaction of blood Mn and Pb concentrations with the three GST genes in relation to ASD status.
Results: The unadjusted difference between ASD and TD groups in terms of geometric mean blood Pb concentrations was marginally significant (p = 0.05), but for Al concentrations, the adjusted difference was marginally significant (p = 0.06).
Conclusions: This is the first study reporting six blood metal concentrations of Pakistani children with ASD. Estimates provided for possible interactions of GST genes with Mn and Pb in relation to ASD status are valuable for designing future similar studies.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.