Prevalence Of Autism Spectrum Disorders In The US May Have Reached A Plateau

In “Science Now,” the Los Angeles Times (1/2, Kaplan) reports investigators “have a new reason to believe that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in the US has reached a plateau.” Their “evidence comes from the National Health Interview Survey, which polls American households about a variety of conditions.” In findings published Jan. 2 in a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “the research team found that 2.41% of US kids and teens had a form of autism between 2014 and 2016.” While the “prevalence rose slightly…from 2.24% in 2014 to 2.41% in 2015 and then 2.58% in 2016,” the rise was not “enough to be considered statistically significant.”

TIME (1/2, MacMillan) points out the study took into account “survey responses from a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 children, ages 3 to 17, and their families.” The study did reveal variation in rates of autism by sub-groups, however. For example, “3.54% of boys were reported to have an autism spectrum disorder, compared to 1.22% of girls.” What’s more, “prevalence was 1.78% in Hispanic children, 2.36% in black children and 2.71% in white children.”

Related Links:

— “Autism spectrum disorders appear to have stabilized among U.S. kids and teens,” Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2018.

Posted in In The News.