Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 9, pp 1959–1966 | Cite as

The Rising Prevalence of Autism: A Prospective Longitudinal Study in the Faroe Islands

  • Eva KočovskáEmail author
  • Rannvá Biskupstø
  • I. Carina Gillberg
  • Asa Ellefsen
  • Hanna Kampmann
  • Tormóður Stórá
  • Eva Billstedt
  • Christopher Gillberg
Original Paper


We have followed up a 2002 population study of autism prevalence in 15–24-year olds in the Faroe Islands. The rate of ASD grew significantly from 0.56% in 2002 to 0.94% in 2009. Although these results are within the range of typical findings from other studies, there were some interesting details. There were—in addition to 43 originally diagnosed cases in 2002—24 newly discovered cases in 2009 and nearly half of them were females. It is possible that unfamiliarity with the clinical presentation of autism in females have played a significant role in this context. There was diagnostic stability for the overall category of ASD over time in the group diagnosed in childhood (7—16) years, but considerable variability as regards diagnostic sub-groupings.


Autism Asperger’s syndrome Prevalence Genetic isolate Children Young adults Females 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Kočovská
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rannvá Biskupstø
    • 2
  • I. Carina Gillberg
    • 5
  • Asa Ellefsen
    • 3
  • Hanna Kampmann
    • 3
  • Tormóður Stórá
    • 4
  • Eva Billstedt
    • 5
  • Christopher Gillberg
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Caledonia HouseUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Psychiatric DepartmentChild and Youth PsychiatryTórshavnFaroe Islands
  3. 3.Sernámsdepilin (Special Education Center)TórshavnFaroe Islands
  4. 4.Psychiatric CenterTorshavnFaroe Islands
  5. 5.Gillberg Neuropsychiatry CentreGothenburgSweden

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