Advertisement

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1601–1608 | Cite as

A Comparison of Autism Prevalence Trends in Denmark and Western Australia

  • Erik T. Parner
  • Poul Thorsen
  • Glenys Dixon
  • Nicholas de Klerk
  • Helen Leonard
  • Natasha Nassar
  • Jenny Bourke
  • Carol Bower
  • Emma J. Glasson
Original paper

Abstract

Prevalence statistics for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) vary widely across geographical boundaries. Some variation can be explained by diagnostic methods, case ascertainment and age at diagnosis. This study compared prevalence statistics for two distinct geographical regions, Denmark and Western Australia, both of which have had population-based registers and consistent classification systems operating over the past decade. Overall ASD prevalence rates were higher in Denmark (68.5 per 10,000 children) compared with Western Australia (51.0 per 10,000 children), while the diagnosis of childhood autism was more prevalent in Western Australia (39.3 per 10,000 children) compared with Denmark (21.8 per 10,000 children). These differences are probably caused by local phenomena affecting case ascertainment but influence from biological or geographical factors may exist.

Keywords

Autism Autism spectrum disorders Prevalence Diagnosis Denmark Western Australia 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Autism Speaks, New York, USA (Grant #2561).

References

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV (4th ed.). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders IV-TR. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  3. Baron-Cohen, S., Scott, F. J., Allison, C., Williams, J., Bolton, P., Matthews, F. E., et al. (2009). Prevalence of autism-spectrum conditions: UK school-based population study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 194, 500–509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaxill, M. F. (2004). What’s going on? The question of time trends in autism. Public Health Reports, 119, 536–551.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network surveillance year 2006 principal investigators. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders—autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, United States, 2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. MMWR. CDC Surveillance Summaries, 58, 1–20.Google Scholar
  6. Fombonne, E. (2005). Epidemiology of autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66(Suppl 10), 3–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Fombonne, E. (2009). Epidemiology of pervasive developmental disorders. Pediatric Research, 65, 591–598.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gardener, H., Spiegelman, D., & Buka, S. L. (2009). Prenatal risk factors for autism: Comprehensive meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 195, 7–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Glasson, E. J. (2002). The Western Australian register for autism spectrum disorders (Letter). Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 38, 321.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glasson, E. J., & Wray, J. (2004). Obtaining consent affects the value of the Western Australian autism register. Medical Journal of Australia, 181, 514–515.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Glasson, E. J., MacDermott, S., Dixon, G., Cook, H., Chauvel, P., Maley-Berg, A., et al. (2008). Management of assessments and diagnoses for children with autism spectrum disorders: The Western Australian model. Medical Journal of Australia, 188, 288–291.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Mandell, D. S., Novak, M. M., & Zubritsky, C. D. (2005). Factors associated with age of diagnosis among children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 116, 1480–1486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Munk-Jorgensen, P., & Mortensen, P. B. (1997). The Danish psychiatric central register. Danish Medical Bulletin, 44, 82–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Nassar, N., Dixon, G., Bourke, J., Bower, C., Glasson, E., de Klerk, N., et al. (2009). Autism spectrum disorders in young children: Effect of changes in diagnostic practices. International Journal of Epidemiology, 38, 1245–1254.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Parner, E. T., Schendel, D. E., & Thorsen, P. (2008). Autism prevalence over time: The confounding of changes in age at diagnosis. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162, 1150–1156.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Petterson, B., Leonard, H., Bourke, J., Sanders, R., Chalmers, R., Jacoby, P., et al. (2005). IDEA (Intellectual Disability Exploring Answers): A population-based database for intellectual disability in Western Australia. Annals of Human Biology, 32, 237–243.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Stanley, F. J., Croft, M. L., Gibbins, J., & Read, A. W. (1994). A population database for maternal and child health research in Western Australia using record linkage. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 8, 433–447.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. World Health Organization. (1992). The ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioural disorders. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik T. Parner
    • 1
  • Poul Thorsen
    • 2
  • Glenys Dixon
    • 3
    • 6
  • Nicholas de Klerk
    • 3
  • Helen Leonard
    • 3
  • Natasha Nassar
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jenny Bourke
    • 3
  • Carol Bower
    • 3
  • Emma J. Glasson
    • 3
    • 5
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute of Public Health, Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsLillebaelt HospitalKoldingDenmark
  3. 3.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Kolling Institute for Medical ResearchUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.School of Population HealthThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  6. 6.School of SurgeryThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  7. 7.School of Population Health, M431The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

Personalised recommendations