Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 1362–1372

Birth Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the San Francisco Bay Area by Demographic and Ascertainment Source Characteristics


    • Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health
  • Meredith C. Anderson
    • Impact Assessment, Inc.
  • Lisa A. Croen
    • Northern California Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
  • Karen S. Smith
    • Impact Assessment, Inc.
  • John Collins
    • Impact Assessment, Inc.
  • Judith K. Grether
    • Environmental Health Investigations Branch, California Department of Public Health
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10803-010-1160-2

Cite this article as:
Windham, G.C., Anderson, M.C., Croen, L.A. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2011) 41: 1362. doi:10.1007/s10803-010-1160-2


Using standardized methods for multi-source surveillance, we calculated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) among children born in a racially diverse region in 1994 or 1996 as 4.7/1000 live births. Children with ASD before age 9 were identified through chart abstraction at health-related sources; three-quarters were being served by the state-wide Department of Developmental Services. In adjusted models, we found a male:female ratio of 6:1, a doubling of ASD prevalence among children of older mothers (40+), and lower prevalence with lower paternal education. Children of Black or Hispanic mothers had lower prevalence than those of White, non-Hispanic mothers, but these differences were attenuated after adjustment. Prevalence in children of Asian mothers was similar to Whites. Potential under-counting is discussed.


Autism ASD Prevalence Surveillance Demographics

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010