Increasing autism prevalence in metropolitan New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Health, USA.
Autism (Impact Factor: 3.5). 11/2012; 18(2). DOI: 10.1177/1362361312463977
Source: PubMed


High baseline autism spectrum disorder prevalence estimates in New Jersey led to a follow-up surveillance. The objectives were to determine autism spectrum disorder prevalence in the year 2006 in New Jersey and to identify changes in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder or in the characteristics of the children with autism spectrum disorder, between 2002 and 2006. The cohorts included 30,570 children, born in 1998 and 28,936 children, born in 1994, residing in Hudson, Union, and Ocean counties, New Jersey. Point prevalence estimates by sex, ethnicity, autism spectrum disorder subtype, and previous autism spectrum disorder diagnosis were determined. For 2006, a total of 533 children with autism spectrum disorder were identified, consistent with prevalence of 17.4 per 1000 (95% confidence interval = 15.9-18.9), indicating a significant increase in the autism spectrum disorder prevalence (p < 0.001), between 2002 (10.6 per 1000) and 2006. The rise in autism spectrum disorder was broad, affecting major demographic groups and subtypes. Boys with autism spectrum disorder outnumbered girls by nearly 5:1. Autism spectrum disorder prevalence was higher among White children than children of other ethnicities. Additional studies are needed to specify the influence of better awareness of autism spectrum disorder prevalence estimates and to identify possible autism spectrum disorder risk factors. More resources are necessary to address the needs of individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder.

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    • "Where multiple surveys based on the same or overlapping populations were evident, the publication listed in the tables is the most detailed and comprehensive account. For example, surveys conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (2007a, 2007b, 2009, 2012) as part of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network are each included in Table 3.4, although additional accounts for individual states are available elsewhere (e.g., Nicholas et al., 2008; Pinborough-Zimmerman et al., 2012; Rice et al., 2010; Zahorodny et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1966, over 80 epidemiological surveys of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have been conducted in more than 20 countries. In this chapter, we review existing prevalence estimates for ASDs and discuss methodological factors impacting the estimation of prevalence and the interpretation of changes in prevalence estimates over time. Possible explanations for an increase in the prevalence of ASD within and across populations are considered. Increases in ASD diagnostic rates cannot currently be attributed to a true increase in the incidence of ASD due to multiple confounding factors. It remains to be seen how changes to diagnostic criteria introduced in the DSM-5 will impact estimates of ASD prevalence going forward.
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