Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 31–40 | Cite as

Prevalence of Parent-Reported ASD and ADHD in the UK: Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study

  • Ginny RussellEmail author
  • Lauren R. Rodgers
  • Obioha C. Ukoumunne
  • Tamsin Ford
Original Paper


The UK prevalence of parent-reported autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were estimated from the Millennium Cohort Study. Case definition was if a doctor or health care professional had ever told parents that their child had ASD and/or ADHD. Data were collected in 2008/2009 for 14,043 children. 1.7 % of children were reported as having ASD (95 % CI 1.4–2.0) at mean age 7.2 years (SD = 0.2; range = 6.3–8.2). 1.4 % reportedly had ADHD (95 % CI 1.2–1.7), and 0.3 % had both ASD and ADHD (95 % CI 0.2–0.5). After adjusting for socio-economic disadvantage, only male sex (p < 0.001 for both conditions) and cognitive ability, p = 0.004 (ASD); p = 0.01 (ADHD) remained strongly associated. The observed prevalence of parent-reported ASD is high compared to earlier UK and US estimates. Parent-reported ADHD is low compared to US estimates using the same measure.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Autism Prevalence Co-morbidity Pervasive developmental disorder Autism spectrum disorder 



We would like to thank the Millennium Cohort Study families for their time and cooperation, as well as the Millennium Cohort Study team at the Institute of Education, London, UK. We also acknowledge funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health in England.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ginny Russell
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lauren R. Rodgers
    • 1
  • Obioha C. Ukoumunne
    • 1
  • Tamsin Ford
    • 1
  1. 1.NIHR CLAHRC for the South West Peninsula PenCLAHRCUniversity of Exeter Medical SchoolExeterUK
  2. 2.ExeterUK

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