What is the global prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2019
  • Author: James Robert Brasic, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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A global prevalence of 7.6 cases of ASD per 100 (1 in 132) was estimated on review of epidemiological studies. [99] Autistic disorder and related conditions are estimated to affect up to 10-15 people per 10,000 population worldwide. In a population-based study of all 7- to 12-year-old children (N = 55,266) in a South Korean community, Kim et al estimated that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders was 2.64% [100]

Studies in Japan report much higher rates than are found in other countries. [101] Japanese investigators suggest that these findings reflect the careful evaluations performed by Japanese clinicians, which may identify cases that would be overlooked in other countries. Alternatively, autism may be more common in Japan because of gastrointestinal and other infections transmitted through the ingestion of seafood and other aquatically derived foods that are characteristic of the Japanese diet.

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