Intended for healthcare professionals


Autism diagnoses in the US rise by 30%, CDC reports

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 02 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2520
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

One in every 68 US children has been identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD), says a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—a 30% increase from the 1 in 88 prevalence reported by the agency in 2012.1

Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop, chief of the CDC’s Developmental Disabilities branch, said that the reasons for the increase were unclear but that changes in prevalence may partly reflect improved recognition that autism is a spectrum of disorders, leading to its diagnosis in more children with higher IQs and in those who may be less severely affected.

The new report summarized data from 2010 collected by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, an active surveillance system that tracks ASD trends in communities across …

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