New Study and Increased Rates

A study just released, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006, describes an increase in autism in the United States among 8 year olds in 2006. An interesting aspect of the study is the higher incidence of the condition among whites vs. blacks and Hispanic children.

ASD prevalence also varied by race and ethnicity (Table 2). Combining data from all sites, the average prevalence among non-Hispanic white children (9.9; CI = 9.4–10.4) was significantly greater than that among non-Hispanic black children (7.2; CI = 6.6–7.8) and Hispanic children (5.9; CI = 5.3–6.6) (Table 2) (p<0.001). For five (Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin) of the 11 ADDM sites, ASD prevalence was significantly higher among non-Hispanic white children than among non-Hispanic black children (p<0.05). ASD prevalence was significantly lower among Hispanic children than among non-Hispanic white children in six sites (Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin), and was significantly lower than prevalence among non-Hispanic black children in four sites (Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia).

My works hypothesizes that if autism is an evolutionary condition with testosterone compelling return to forebear neurologies when equatorial peoples are moved to Northern climes, then blacks and Hispanics should evidence autism more frequently in the Northern U.S..

The male/female ratio varied dramatically depending on where you were in the country. I don’t know how to interpret that.

One Response to “New Study and Increased Rates”

  1. Socrates says:

    I’ve skimmed the report and can’t help but feel that the results are entirely consistent with widely varying levels of experience, skills and diagnostic practices across the different state research groups.

    The report also contains a number of phrases and concepts that seem to have come straight from the lips of non-academic, non-clinical Lobbyists and campaigners.

    I personally feel it is almost valueless as a serious epidemiological study.

    I would suggest better founded material is available from UK sources, ie Baird et.al “Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP)” and the UK government’s recent report on adult prevalence by Terry Brugha.

    I would posit that the consensus in the UK is that the rate of all PDD’s is around 1% and has been for a very long time.

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