Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why is the prevalence of autism increasing? 1 in 54 Boys has Autism Spectrum Disorder

The CDC released a report on the prevalence of autism in the US population and the numbers are scary. According to the CDC

 1 in 88 children (11.3 per 1,000) has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • This marks a 23% increase since our last report in 2009. And, a 78% increase since our first report in 2007. Some of the increase is due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and served in their local communities, although exactly how much is due to these factors in unknown.
  • The number of children identified with ASDs varied widely across the 14 ADDM Network sites, from 1 in 47 (21.2 per 1,000) to 1 in 210 (4.8 per 1,000).
  • ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).
Source : CDC

The CDC rightfully points out that it is possible that " some of this increase is due to greater awareness and better identification". However, this finding explains only part of the increase over time, as more children are being identified in all groups.

We recently discussed on this blog the fact that advanced paternal age could be a major factor. I believe that more research should be focused on this area as well as environmental factors.

Source: CDC