Cases of childhood autism increasing in UK

July 14, 2006

Autism in Britain is three times more common than previously thought, affecting 1 in every 100 children, a study found.

In an article in the British medical journal The Lancet, researchers said they are not sure if the higher numbers are due to better diagnoses or if the condition is increasing.

The researchers examined 9- and 10-year-olds in Britain and found that 39 out of 10,000 had autism and 77 out of 10,000 had autistic-spectrum disorder, suggesting the total prevalence of the neurodevelopmental disorder was around 1 percent of the British child population.

"This new study establishes that autism-spectrum conditions are no longer rare," Professor Simon Baron Cohen of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge told the BBC.

He said health, education and related services must change to "meet the needs of people on the autistic spectrum."

The increased autism rate may be tied to changes in the definition of the disorder, greater awareness of the condition or the growing types of services for patients, researchers said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New tool for investigating RNA gone awry

Related Stories

New tool for investigating RNA gone awry

July 20, 2015

RNA is a fundamental ingredient in all known forms of life—so when RNA goes awry, a lot can go wrong. RNA misregulation plays a critical role in the development of many disorders, such as mental disability, autism and cancer.

Lefties are all right with kangaroos

June 18, 2015

Kangaroos prefer to use one of their hands over the other for everyday tasks in much the same way that humans do, with one notable difference: generally speaking, kangaroos are lefties. The finding, reported in the Cell Press ...

Recommended for you

How bees naturally vaccinate their babies

July 31, 2015

When it comes to vaccinating their babies, bees don't have a choice—they naturally immunize their offspring against specific diseases found in their environments. And now for the first time, scientists have discovered how ...

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.