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Epidemiology of Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Anxiety Among Children On The Autisn Spectrum Disorder 570x570

In the US, ASD prevalence is 18.5 per 1,000. This meant that 1 in every 54 children. is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring.

(An active surveillance program that throws light on the prevalence of ASD among children aged 8 years whose parents live in 11 Network sites in the United States).

ASD prevalence among boys is 4 times higher than among girls. The median age at ASD diagnosis ranges from 50 to 56 months.  ASD rates do not vary significantly by race or ethnicity or socioeconomic groups. However, healthcare disparities for early diagnosis exist for the African American children. Hispanic children also tend to be under diagnosed than other races. ASD tends to be slightly more readily identified among High SES population as well. Health care providers should focus on bridging the gaps in access to healthcare across communities to ensure early detection and treatment of ASD. WHO estimates the global prevalence of ASD as 1 child in every 160.

Based on epidemiological studies over the past five decades, there is a rise in the prevalence of ASD globally. The reasons for these apparent upward trends are increased awareness, expansion of diagnostic criteria, improved diagnostic methods and better reporting.

  1. World Health Organization. Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  2. Baio J, Wiggins L, Christensen DL, Maenner MJ, Daniels J, Warren Z, Kurzius-Spencer M, Zahorodny W, Robinson Rosenberg C, White T, Durkin MS, Imm P, Nikolaou L, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Lee LC, Harrington R, Lopez M, Fitzgerald RT, Hewitt A, Pettygrove S, Constantino JN, Vehorn A, Shenouda J, Hall-Lande J, Van Naarden Braun K, Dowling NF. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years - Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2014. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2018 Apr 27;67(6):1-23. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.ss6706a1.