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Evidence of increasing recorded diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders in Wales, UK: An e-cohort study
Autism, Start page: 136236132110596
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Estimates place the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (autism) at around 1% in the population. New services for adult diagnosis have been set up in Wales, UK, at a time of rising awareness of the spectrum of autism experiences, however no studies have examined adult autism prevalence in Wales....
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Estimates place the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (autism) at around 1% in the population. New services for adult diagnosis have been set up in Wales, UK, at a time of rising awareness of the spectrum of autism experiences, however no studies have examined adult autism prevalence in Wales. In this study we use an anonymised e-cohort comprised of healthcare record data to produce all-age estimates of prevalence and incidence of record-ed autism for the years 2001-2016. We found the overall prevalence rate of autism in healthcare records was 0.51%. The number of new-recorded cases of autism increased from 0.188 per 1000 person-years in 2001 to 0.644 per 1000 person-years in 2016. The estimate of 0.51% prevalence in the population is lower than suggested by population survey and cohort studies study methodologies, but comparable to other administrative record study estimates. Rates of new incident diagnoses of autism saw a >150% increase in the years 2008-2016, with a trend towards more diagnoses in those over 35 and an eight-fold increase in diagnoses in women from 2000-2016. Our study suggests that while the number of people being diagnosed with autism is increasing, many are still unrecognised by healthcare services.
autism spectrum disorders, health services, prevalence, screening
Swansea University Medical School