Frequency of Autism Spectrum Disorder in U.S. Stable in Recent Years

Bottom Line: The frequency of autism spectrum disorder among U.S. children and adolescents was stable from 2014-2016 based on data from a nationally representative annual survey.
 
Why The Research Is Interesting: Previous surveys have reported a steady increase in the frequency of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in U.S. children over the past two decades but a recent estimate suggested a plateau in 2012.
 
Who: 30,502 U.S. children and adolescents
 
What and When: Estimate of the frequency of ASD from 2014-2016 using data from the National Health Interview Survey
 
How (Study Design): This is a descriptive study, so the researchers did not gather information about underlying causes for the findings and cannot make conclusions about their medical significance.
 
Authors: Wei Bao, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City, and coauthors.
 
Results – There was no apparent increase over the three year study period in the frequency of ASD.
 
 
 
 
Study Limitations: ASD diagnosis was self-reported rather than measured or diagnosed by experts in child health.
 
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.
 
(doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17812)