Prevalence of ever-diagnosed ASD 2.79 percent in U.S. children

(HealthDay)—The prevalence of ever-diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 2.79 percent in the United States, with state-level variations in prevalence, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Guifeng Xu, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues used cross-sectional data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health to estimate the prevalence and treatment patterns of ASD among young children. Data were included for 43,032 children aged 3 to 17 years and were obtained from questionnaires completed by a parent or guardian.

The researchers found the weighted prevalence of ever-diagnosed and current ASD was 2.79 and 2.50 percent, respectively. There was variation in the state-level prevalence of ever-diagnosed ASD from 1.54 percent in Texas to 4.88 percent in Florida. About 70 percent of children with current ASD were treated nationally: 43.3, 6.9, and 20.3 percent received behavioral treatment only, medication only, and both behavioral and medication treatments, respectively; 29.5 percent did not receive behavioral or medication treatment.

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