Thursday, June 12, 2014

US CDC Autism Prevalence Estimates Challenged

I didn't see this autism "controversy" brewing. The authors of an article published  in the Sage Autism journal have challenged the credibility of the US CDC autism prevalence figures. The full article is on line and free for viewing (PDF also available free) at:

Should we believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s autism spectrum disorder prevalence estimates?

David Mandell
Luc Lecavalier

"In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their most recent estimate of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among children aged 8 years (CDC, 2014). Their startling finding was that 1 in 68 children met criteria for ASD in 2010, compared with 1 in 88 in 2008 (CDC, 2012), 1 in 110 using combined data from 2006 and 2004 (CDC, 2009), and 1 in 150 in 2002 (CDC, 2007). This dramatic increase has raised many concerns regarding possible causes, with much attention given to toxic exposure in the perinatal period (Rodier, 2011) and broadening of the diagnostic criteria (Newschaffer et al., 2007). While these and other hypotheses certainly are worthy of further exploration, we believe that this apparent increase should raise as many concerns about the study methods themselves as it does about other reasons for the observed change in prevalence. ........."

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