Tags: Autism | autism | ASD | socioeconomic | status

What's the Link Between Autism and Socioeconomic Status?

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By    |   Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 12:15 PM

Children who live in affluent neighborhoods are more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than those living in poorer neighborhoods where the residents are less educated, says a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The multi-institution study, which was led by Maureen Durkin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center, analyzed education and healthcare data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 1.3 million 8-year-old children. The data was then merged with U.S. Census measures of socioeconomic status, such as the number of adults who have bachelor's degrees and median household incomes.

The researchers found that children living in areas with lower socioeconomic development were less likely to be diagnosed with ASD than children living in areas indicating higher socioeconomic status.

Durkin says it's likely that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds simply don't get the same access to ASD diagnosis and treatment as children from more affluent backgrounds.

The study also found that the incidence of the disorder increased during the eight-year study period, increasing from 6.6 to 14.7 cases per thousand children.

"We wanted to see if part of this increase in ASD prevalence was because advances in screening techniques and medical training meant more children from disadvantaged backgrounds were gaining access to ASD diagnoses and services," said Durkin. "It doesn't seem that's the case."

Studies have found that some environmental factors can contribute to the development of autism, including exposure to pesticides, and recent research at the University of California, Davis, found that taking 800 or more micrograms of folic acid during pregnancy significantly lowered the babies' risk of developing ASD, even when their mothers were exposed to household or agricultural pesticides.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one child in 68 had autism in 2010, a 119.4 percent increase from 2000.

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Children who live in affluent neighborhoods are more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than those living in poorer neighborhoods where the residents are less educated, says a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.The...
autism, ASD, socioeconomic, status
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2017-15-12
Thursday, 12 Oct 2017 12:15 PM
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