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U.S. says 1 in 150 children have autism (Health)

posted by H. Christian, 02.14.2007

U.S. says 1 in 150 children have autism
Staff and agencies
12 February, 2007

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Fri Feb 9, 7:50 PM ET

ATLANTA - The largest U.S. study of autism has found that the troubling condition is more common than previously understood.

The new numbers are based on the largest, most convincing study done so far in the United States, and trump previous estimates that placed the prevalence at 1 in 166.

Government scientists declined to call the results a complete surprise: The new estimate is on the high end of a prevalence range identified in other recent studies, they said.

"This is a greater national health care crisis than we thought even yesterday," said Alison Singer, spokeswoman for Autism Speaks, the nations largest organization advocating services for autistic children.

"This data today show were going to need more early intervention services and more therapists, and were going to need federal and state legislators to stand up for these families," Singer said.

The new research involved an intense review of medical and school records for children and gives the clearest picture yet of how common autism is in some parts of the country, CDC officials said.

However, the study population is not demographically representative of the nation as a whole, so officials cautioned against using the results as a national average. The study doesnt include some of the most populous states, like California, Texas and Florida.

"We cant make conclusions about trends yet," because the studys database is too new, said Catherine Rice, a CDC behavioral scientist who was the studys lead author.

Scientists have been revising how common they think the disorder is. Past lower estimates were based on smaller studies. The study released Thursday is one of the first scientific papers to come out of a more authoritative way of measuring it.

The study involved 2002 data from parts or all of 14 states Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Researchers looked specifically at children who were 8 years old because most autistic kids are diagnosed by that age. The researchers checked health records in each area and school records when available, looking for children who met diagnostic criteria for autism. They used those numbers to calculate a prevalence rate for each study area.

Included were autism-linked conditions like Asperger disorder, which some experts say might partly account for a higher rate.

Dr. Fred Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at Yale University, said the educational records researchers relied on in some states may be misleading. Sometimes, if a child has problems that seem like autism, parents will push for an autism label to get additional educational services, he said.

Rates varied dramatically among states, in some cases. The rate was 3.3 per 1,000 in the northeastern Alabama study area and 10.6 per 1,000 in the Newark, N.J., metro area.

Researchers say they dont know why the rate was so high in New Jersey. They think the Alabama rate was low partly because of limited access to special education records.

The study was not an effort to find the cause of autism, still a point of debate. While many advocacy groups blame the vaccine preservative thimerosal, scientists are putting more focus on possible genetic causes, according to a recent Stanford University study.

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Fri Feb 9, 7:50 PM ET

ATLANTA - The largest U.S. study of autism has found that the troubling condition is more common than previously understood.

The new numbers are based on the largest, most convincing study done so far in the United States, and trump previous estimates that placed the prevalence at 1 in 166.

Government scientists declined to call the results a complete surprise: The new estimate is on the high end of a prevalence range identified in other recent studies, they said.

"This is a greater national health care crisis than we thought even yesterday," said Alison Singer, spokeswoman for Autism Speaks, the nations largest organization advocating services for autistic children.

"This data today show were going to need more early intervention services and more therapists, and were going to need federal and state legislators to stand up for these families," Singer said.

The new research involved an intense review of medical and school records for children and gives the clearest picture yet of how common autism is in some parts of the country, CDC officials said.

However, the study population is not demographically representative of the nation as a whole, so officials cautioned against using the results as a national average. The study doesnt include some of the most populous states, like California, Texas and Florida.

"We cant make conclusions about trends yet," because the studys database is too new, said Catherine Rice, a CDC behavioral scientist who was the studys lead author.

Scientists have been revising how common they think the disorder is. Past lower estimates were based on smaller studies. The study released Thursday is one of the first scientific papers to come out of a more authoritative way of measuring it.

The study involved 2002 data from parts or all of 14 states Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Researchers looked specifically at children who were 8 years old because most autistic kids are diagnosed by that age. The researchers checked health records in each area and school records when available, looking for children who met diagnostic criteria for autism. They used those numbers to calculate a prevalence rate for each study area.

Included were autism-linked conditions like Asperger disorder, which some experts say might partly account for a higher rate.

Dr. Fred Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at Yale University, said the educational records researchers relied on in some states may be misleading. Sometimes, if a child has problems that seem like autism, parents will push for an autism label to get additional educational services, he said.

Rates varied dramatically among states, in some cases. The rate was 3.3 per 1,000 in the northeastern Alabama study area and 10.6 per 1,000 in the Newark, N.J., metro area.

Researchers say they dont know why the rate was so high in New Jersey. They think the Alabama rate was low partly because of limited access to special education records.

The study was not an effort to find the cause of autism, still a point of debate. While many advocacy groups blame the vaccine preservative thimerosal, scientists are putting more focus on possible genetic causes, according to a recent Stanford University study.

Source: http://www.localnewsleader.com/kindred/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=61910



New Jersey has highest rate ever documented in U.S.

Friday, February 9, 2007

By LINDY WASHBURN
STAFF WRITER

One in every 94 children in New Jersey has autism -- the highest rate ever documented in the United States. For boys, the rate is one in every 60.

Source: http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk3MDczNzMyJnlyaXJ5N2Y3MTdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Mg==

 


Complete thread:

  • U.S. says 1 in 150 children have autism - H. Christian, 02.14.2007
                                                                              
                                                      
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