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Home Industry News Study reveals higher-than-expected autism prevalence in England

Study reveals higher-than-expected autism prevalence in England

3rd May 2011

The number of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in England may be considerably higher than previously expected, according to a new study.

Research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry estimates that 9.8 people per 1,000 members of the English population are affected by the condition, a conclusion reached following a multi-part assessment involving 13,171 households.

This differs from earlier studies which suggested that the prevalence rate was somewhere between 4.4 and 12.7 per 10,000 population.

The report's authors said it is not known whether this variance is due to case finding changes or an increasing incidence of ASD due to newly emerging causes, adding that their conclusions need to be replicated by an independent study.

"Adults with ASDs are more likely to be recognised and supported if they also have severe intellectual disability; those with higher levels of functioning tend to be overlooked in the community," the paper added.

However, the researchers also noted that the fact that many adult ASD sufferers go undiagnosed also calls into question the idea that there is an "autism epidemic" among young people.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800517081-ADNFCR

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