Autism spectrum disorders have gained media attention in recent years, and for good reason. With each passing study, the prevalence of autism seems to be increasing. Most recently, the results from a nationwide surveillance program by CDC investigators (to be reported in the Feb. 9 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), bumped the occurrence of autism within the U.S. from one in 166 school-age children to one in 152.
Nonetheless, the investigators caution that more states will need to be sampled before they can confirm an actual upward trend. Their current numbers were pooled from sites in 14 states, including Arizona, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some states, such as New Jersey, are witnessing autism rates as high as 1% of all school-age children. While on the low end, Alabama has an autism prevelance of just 3.3 per 1,000 school-age children.
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