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Saturday, May 18, 2013

CDC and Autism Prevalence

Shaun Heasley writes at Disability Scoop:
In a first-of-its-kind report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that as many as 1 in 5 American children has a mental disorder including autism.
The report released Thursday focuses on kids ages 3 to 17 between the years 2005 and 2011. It is said to be the most comprehensive federal look at children’s mental health issues to date.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, was the most common diagnosis, with nearly 7 percent of kids affected. Meanwhile, behavioral or conduct problems touched 3.5 percent of children while 3 percent had anxiety and roughly 2 percent were diagnosed with depression, the CDC found.
The report is largely based on data collected through other surveys. Accordingly, it puts autism prevalence at 1.1 percent, though a more recent government survey released earlier this year suggests that number may in fact be 2 percent.
From the report:
The reported prevalence of ASDs has increased markedly in recent decades, both in the United States and other industrialized countries (82–84). In the United States, population-based ASD prevalence can be estimated using two nationally representative surveys (NHIS and NSCH) and ADDM, a monitoring network that tracks ASD prevalence in 14 population-based sites.
Estimates from these three systems show a strong predominance among boys, with boy:girl ratios ranging from 3.4 to 4.5. Other demographic differences vary somewhat among surveys and survey years. The prevalence tends to be higher among white non-Hispanic children and among children living in families in which the most highly educated adult has attained more than a high school degree. Although some regional differences exist, they are not consistent across surveys. NSCH estimates also suggest a higher prevalence among children with health insurance. Estimates did not vary by poverty level.