Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 1717–1728 | Cite as

Patterns of Contact with Hospital for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Danish Register-Based Study

  • Hjördis Osk Atladóttir
  • Diana E. Schendel
  • Marlene B. Lauritsen
  • Tine Brink Henriksen
  • Erik T. Parner
Original paper


The aim of this study was to study patterns of contact with hospital for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using Danish population based register data. We included all children born in Denmark from 1994 through 2002. We found that children diagnosed with ASD had an increased rate of contact with hospital, almost regardless of the cause for the hospital contact. Given the overall association between hospital contact for various causes and ASD observed in these data, hospital data should be used cautiously in future studies searching for associations between a specific disease and ASD. If the increased rate of hospital contact overall for children with ASD is not considered, then misleading over interpretations might be made of observed associations between specific diseases and ASD.


Autistic disorder Autism Hospitalization Admission Hospital contact Comorbidity 



Funding was provided by the Aarhus University Research Foundation, the Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, and the Familien Hede Nielsens Foundation. The funding sources did not participate in any part of the performance of the study. The study was approved by the Danish Data Protection Agency and the Danish National Board of Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest with the results of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hjördis Osk Atladóttir
    • 1
  • Diana E. Schendel
    • 2
  • Marlene B. Lauritsen
    • 3
  • Tine Brink Henriksen
    • 4
  • Erik T. Parner
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Public Health, Section of EpidemiologyUniversity of AarhusÅrhus C, AarhusDenmark
  2. 2.National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental DisabilitiesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Regional Centre for Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAarhus University HospitalRisskovDenmark
  4. 4.Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Department of PediatricsAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Public Health, Section of BiostatisticsUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark

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