Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Clinic Notes: The New Autism Numbers

In a recent study, CDC reports that 1 in every 150 school age children are affected by autism. When I started practicing 35 years ago the numbers were more like 1 in 10,000. The lower rates are reported in the South and the higher rates in North Eastern cities. Whether this difference is real or because more services are available and a diagnosis is more likely in the North Eastern cities than the South is not known. The authors of the study say that the rise in autism rates could be related to better surveillance procedures now than in the past. Personally, I don't think 1 child out of every 150 has any chronic disease, Including autism. (Diaper rash could be the exception.)
(See Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Source reference: MMWR 2007, 56;SS-1;1-28.)

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