Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rate of autism disorders climbs to one percent among 8-year-olds

Date:
December 18, 2009
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
One in 110 American 8-year-olds is classified as having an autism spectrum disorder, a 57 percent increase in ASD cases compared to four years earlier.

A new study shows that one in 110 American 8-year-olds is classified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 57 percent increase in ASD cases compared to four years earlier.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kim Gunkel

Autism and related development disorders are becoming more common, with a prevalence rate approaching 1 percent among American 8-year-olds, according to new data from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Related Articles


The study is a partnership between UAB, the CDC and 10 other U.S. research sites. It shows that one in 110 American 8-year-olds is classified as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 57 percent increase in ASD cases compared to four years earlier.

The new findings, published Dec. 18 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), highlight the need for social and educational services to help those affected by the condition, said Beverly Mulvihill, Ph.D., a UAB associate professor of public health and co-author on the study.

ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities such as autism and Asperger disorder that are characterized by delays or changes in childhood socialization, communication and behavior.

"This is a dramatic increase in the number of kids classified as autistic or documented on the spectrum of similar disorders," Mulvihill said. "It is not entirely clear what is causing the rise, but we know major collaborative efforts are needed to improve the understanding and lives of people and families impacted."

The MMWR study discusses possible factors that might contribute to the increase in ASD cases. They include a broader definition of autism disorders and a heightened awareness of ASD by parents, doctors, educators and other professionals. The findings do not address whether or not any of the increase is attributable to a true increase in the risk of developing ASD, more frequent and earlier diagnoses, and other factors.

Data comes from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, a collection of 11 sites in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. ADDM reviewers are uniformly trained to review and confirm cases; some children included in the study have documented ASD symptoms but never received a diagnosis.

The study also found that boys are 4.5 times more likely than girls to have ASD, a finding that confirms earlier studies, says Martha Wingate, Dr.P.H., a UAB assistant professor of public health and study co-author.

"It still is not clear why males more frequently are affected," Wingate said. "One thing we know for sure is that more research is needed to quantify the effects of single or multiple factors such as diagnosis patterns, inclusion of milder cases and other components."

The ADDM sites are not selected based on any statistical pattern, but the 300,000-plus children included in the study represent 8 percent of the nation's 8-year-olds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Rate of autism disorders climbs to one percent among 8-year-olds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218133301.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2009, December 18). Rate of autism disorders climbs to one percent among 8-year-olds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218133301.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Rate of autism disorders climbs to one percent among 8-year-olds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091218133301.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins