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A study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that siblings of children with autism are more likely than previous research had suggested to develop the disorder themselves.

Previously, studies had estimated between 3 and 10 percent of siblings of autistic children would develop the disorder.  The new research shows a higher number--just more than 18 percent.  The study also found that boys are more likely than girls to develop autism--26 percent of boys with autistic siblings developed symptoms, compared to only 9 percent of girls, a nearly three-fold difference.

Autism is the spectrum of developmental, cognitive, and behavioral disorders that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans.

(image via Babble)