In the Journals

CDC: Autism incidence increases to 1 in 59 children

About one in 59 children aged 8 years in the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Network was identified as having autism in 2014, according to recently released data.

The last such report indicated one in 68 children had autism. In addition, the new report suggests autism prevalence among black and Hispanic children is nearing that of white children, which CDC officials said could be attributable to stepped up screening and outreach efforts among those populations.

Other findings:

  • The number of children with autism spectrum disorder reached 3% in some Autism and Developmental Disability Network communities, an increase of 150% since 2000.
  • Boys were four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Fewer than 50% of the children in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network had their initial autism diagnosis before reaching 4 years of age.
  • Only 42% of children received a developmental evaluation by 3 years of age, even though 85% of children with autism had concerns about their development noted in their health records by that same age.

“[Autism spectrum disorder] is an urgent public health concern that could benefit from enhanced strategies to help identify [autism spectrum disorder] earlier; to determine possible risk factors; and to address the growing behavioral, educational, residential and occupational needs of this population,” Jon Baio, EdS, of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and colleagues wrote of their findings.

“Parents can track their child’s development and act early if there is a concern,” Stuart Shapira, MD, PhD, associate director for science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, added in a press release. “Health care providers can acknowledge and help parents act on those concerns. And those who work with or on behalf of children can join forces to ensure that all children with autism get identified and connected to the services they need as early as possible.”

About one in 59 children aged 8 years in the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Network was identified as having autism in 2014, according to recently released data.
Photo Source:Shutterstock

Revising inclusion criteria

Moving forward, the CDC said it will primarily use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which “made considerable changes to [autism spectrum disorder] diagnostic criteria” to base their data.

“Over time, the estimate might be influenced (downward) by a diminishing number of persons who meet the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for [autism spectrum disorder] based solely on a previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnosis, such as autistic disorder, [pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified] or Asperger disorder, and influenced (upward) by professionals aligning their clinical descriptions with the DSM-5 criteria,” they added.

– by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.

 

 

About one in 59 children aged 8 years in the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Network was identified as having autism in 2014, according to recently released data.

The last such report indicated one in 68 children had autism. In addition, the new report suggests autism prevalence among black and Hispanic children is nearing that of white children, which CDC officials said could be attributable to stepped up screening and outreach efforts among those populations.

Other findings:

  • The number of children with autism spectrum disorder reached 3% in some Autism and Developmental Disability Network communities, an increase of 150% since 2000.
  • Boys were four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Fewer than 50% of the children in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network had their initial autism diagnosis before reaching 4 years of age.
  • Only 42% of children received a developmental evaluation by 3 years of age, even though 85% of children with autism had concerns about their development noted in their health records by that same age.

“[Autism spectrum disorder] is an urgent public health concern that could benefit from enhanced strategies to help identify [autism spectrum disorder] earlier; to determine possible risk factors; and to address the growing behavioral, educational, residential and occupational needs of this population,” Jon Baio, EdS, of the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and colleagues wrote of their findings.

“Parents can track their child’s development and act early if there is a concern,” Stuart Shapira, MD, PhD, associate director for science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, added in a press release. “Health care providers can acknowledge and help parents act on those concerns. And those who work with or on behalf of children can join forces to ensure that all children with autism get identified and connected to the services they need as early as possible.”

About one in 59 children aged 8 years in the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disability Network was identified as having autism in 2014, according to recently released data.
Photo Source:Shutterstock

Revising inclusion criteria

Moving forward, the CDC said it will primarily use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which “made considerable changes to [autism spectrum disorder] diagnostic criteria” to base their data.

“Over time, the estimate might be influenced (downward) by a diminishing number of persons who meet the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for [autism spectrum disorder] based solely on a previous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) diagnosis, such as autistic disorder, [pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified] or Asperger disorder, and influenced (upward) by professionals aligning their clinical descriptions with the DSM-5 criteria,” they added.

– by Janel Miller

Disclosure: Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.