Incidence and cohort prevalence for autism spectrum disorders in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador

Chafe, Roger and Pelly, Lorine and Vardy, Cathy and Fernandez, Bridget A. and Newhook, Leigh A. (2015) Incidence and cohort prevalence for autism spectrum disorders in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador. CMAJ Open, 3 (3). E276-E280. ISSN 2291-0026

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Background: Recent studies have reported increased prevalence for autism spectrum disorders in a number of geographical locations. Our objective was to determine the incidence and 1-year cohort prevalence for autism spectrum disorders in children less than 15 years of age and living in the Avalon Peninsula at the time of diagnosis. Methods: Retrospective and prospective data were obtained from the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre (St. John’s), including the identification and specific diagnosis for all children assessed for autism spectrum disorder from 2006 to 2010. Additional clinic data were reviewed to update the data until the end of 2013. Results: From 2006 to 2010, 272 children had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, averaging 54 new cases per year. The incidence of new cases increased from 10.1 to 16.7 cases per 10 000 per year from 2006 to 2010. At the end of 2013, the prevalence among children born in 2006 was 1 case of autism spectrum disorder per 46 children or 215.77 per 10 000. Interpretation: We found higher rates of autism spectrum disorder than previously reported for this population. The prevalence in this region is also high when compared with other global populations. The high rate of diagnosis supports the need for a provincial autism spectrum disorder registry and further research on autism spectrum disorder within this population.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 11858
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 29 July 2015
Date Type: Publication
Geographic Location: Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
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