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Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Chapter:
Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author(s):

Allison Presmanes Hill

, Katharine Zuckerman

, and Eric Fombonne

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199349722.003.0012
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date: 30 June 2022

This chapter reviews existing prevalence estimates for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since 2000 and discusses methodological factors impacting the estimation of prevalence and the interpretation of changes in prevalence estimates over time. Possible explanations for an increase in the prevalence of ASD within and across populations are considered. Increases in ASD diagnostic rates cannot currently be attributed to a true increase in the incidence of ASD due to multiple confounding factors. It remains to be seen how changes to diagnostic criteria introduced in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will impact estimates of ASD prevalence going forward.

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