Rate of autism disorders climbs to 1 percent among 8-year-olds

Dec 18, 2009

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).

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 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 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 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.

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User comments : 13

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mysticshakra
1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2009
Its vaccines stupid. Autism was unheard of before mass vaccination started. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.
thales
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 18, 2009
Its vaccines stupid. Autism was unheard of before mass vaccination started. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.


No no, the problem is electricity! Autism was unheard of before we started massively using all this magic zip-zap. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.
thales
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2009
Its vaccines stupid. Autism was unheard of before mass vaccination started. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.

You know, I've given it some more thought. The real problem must be airplanes. Think about it: All that air getting pushed around all the time, and you think it won't have an effect on our brain chemistry? Autism was unheard of before airplanes were invented. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2009
Its vaccines stupid. Autism was unheard of before mass vaccination started. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.

This PDF says you're wrong.

http://www.scoinc...d014.pdf
thales
4 / 5 (4) Dec 18, 2009
You know what else was unheard of before mass vaccinations started? Polio! Oh wait... no, that was after.
NeilFarbstein
1 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2009
it's the church of identity stupid. The 21st century is encouraging schizophrenia by making people change identity. Its an open secret.
HealingMindN
5 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2009
Of all the origins of disease, the mainstream medical establishment is the leading cause. Ask any epidemiologist. Thimerosol, anti-psychotics, neuroleptics and all the other garbage pushed on kids is meant to bring down humanity.

BTW: When conventional doctors want to push garbage on my family, I get in their faces and they back down.
Fritzer
Dec 18, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
wiserd
5 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2009
Kids with autism are more likely to have mutations in glutatione peroxidase, IIRC. That suggests that at least some cases of autism have a chemical cause. (glutathione is used by your body to detox various chemicals, mercury included.)
Sinister181
5 / 5 (1) Dec 19, 2009
it's the church of identity stupid. The 21st century is encouraging schizophrenia by making people change identity. Its an open secret.


Actually, Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness.
Sinister181
not rated yet Dec 19, 2009
it's the church of identity stupid. The 21st century is encouraging schizophrenia by making people change identity. Its an open secret.


Actually, Schizophrenia is a psychotic illness, characterized by hallucinations, delusions and an altered sense of reality. *Sigh*
thales
not rated yet Dec 20, 2009
Going, don't be a hit-and-run coward. You have such a problem with vaccinations? Post a comment.
Shootist
not rated yet Dec 24, 2009
Its vaccines stupid. Autism was unheard of before mass vaccination started. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.


No no, the problem is electricity! Autism was unheard of before we started massively using all this magic zip-zap. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.


No. No, the problem is aeroplanes. Autism was unheard of before we started massively using all those flight corridors and pumping all that water vapor and CO2 into the (holy) atmosphere. Aboriginal cultures don't have this issue.
Distort
not rated yet Dec 24, 2009
I think all you people who just commented proved that The Internet is causing us to catch Aspergers.

Aboriginal Cultures mean absolutely nothing in this context, so kindly quit the bickering. With as sharp of an increase as 1 percent in the past four years something has obviously changed in our very recent past. We raise our kids so entirely differently from the ways we have for centuries that there's zero room for comparison. Hell, raising kids in front of Sponge Bob is probably enough.