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Pediatrics. 2009 Nov;124(5):1395-403. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1522. Epub 2009 Oct 5.

Prevalence of parent-reported diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder among children in the US, 2007.

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  • 1Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland 20857, USA. mkogan@hrsa.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The reported increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attendant health and family impact make monitoring of ASD prevalence a public health priority.

METHODS:

The prevalence of parent-reported diagnosis of ASD among US children aged 3 to 17 years was estimated from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health (sample size: 78037). A child was considered to have ASD if a parent/guardian reported that a doctor or other health care provider had ever said that the child had ASD and that the child currently had the condition. The point-prevalence for ASD was calculated for those children meeting both criteria. We examined sociodemographic factors associated with current ASD and with a past (but not current) ASD diagnosis. The health care experiences for children in both ASD groups were explored.

RESULTS:

The weighted current ASD point-prevalence was 110 per 10,000. We estimate that 673,000 US children have ASD. Odds of having ASD were 4 times as large for boys than girls. Non-Hispanic (NH) black and multiracial children had lower odds of ASD than NH white children. Nearly 40% of those ever diagnosed with ASD did not currently have the condition; NH black children were more likely than NH white children to not have current ASD. Children in both ASD groups were less likely than children without ASD to receive care within a medical home.

CONCLUSIONS:

The observed point-prevalence is higher than previous US estimates. More inclusive survey questions, increased population awareness, and improved screening and identification by providers may partly explain this finding.

PMID:
19805460
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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