Autism rates head up

South Korea study raises doubts about prevalence estimates elsewhere

12:38pm, May 9, 2011

South Korea just sent autism prevalence rates surging north. Autism spectrum disorders affect an estimated 2.64 percent of the nation’s schoolchildren, or about 1 in 38 youngsters, a new study finds.

That’s a considerably higher figure than has been reported in the United States, England and elsewhere, where prevalence estimates range between 0.07 percent and 1.8 percent. A 2006 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 1 in 110 children had an autism spectrum disorder, at that time considered a surprisingly high rate.

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