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Changes in diagnosis rates and behavioural traits of autism spectrum disorder over time

Russell, Ginny, Collishaw, Stephan, Golding, Jean, Kelly, Susan E and Ford, Tamsin 2015. Changes in diagnosis rates and behavioural traits of autism spectrum disorder over time. British Journal of Psychiatry Open 1 (2) , pp. 110-115. 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.000976

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Abstract

Background The increased proportion of UK children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been attributed to improved identification, rather than true increase in incidence. Aim To explore whether the proportion of children with diagnosis of ASD and/or the proportion with associated behavioural traits had increased over a 10-year period. Method A cross-cohort comparison using regression to compare prevalence of diagnosis and behavioural traits over time. Participants were children aged 7 years assessed in 1998/1999 (n=8139) and 2007/2008 (n=13 831). Results During 1998/1999, 1.09% (95% CI 0.86–1.37) of children were reported as having ASD diagnosis compared with 1.68% (95% CI 1.42–2.00) in 2007/2008: risk ratio (RR)=1.55 (95% CI 1.17–2.06), P=0.003. The proportion of children in the population with behavioural traits associated with ASD was also larger in the later cohort: RR=1.61 (95% CI 1.35–1.92), P<0.001. Increased odds of diagnosis at the later time point was partially accounted for by adjusting for the increased proportion of children with ASD-type traits. Conclusions Increased ASD diagnosis may partially reflect increase in rates of behaviour associated with ASD and/or greater parent/teacher recognition of associated behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrist
ISSN: 2056-4724
Date of Acceptance: 19 August 2015
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 14:58
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/85184

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