Health

Your chances of getting an autism diagnosis may depend on where you live


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New autism diagnoses in the UK tend to be clustered in specific NHS service areas, suggesting that where an individual lives can influence whether they receive an autism diagnosis and access with special education in need of support.

The latest findings, from researchers from the University of Cambridge in collaboration with researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Newcastle, are published today in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

After analyzing all new autism cases across England using NHS health service boundaries for possible hotspots, a few areas stand out. For example, 45.5% of the NHS Rotherham basin area has clusters of new autism diagnoses that are higher than average. For NHS Heywood, this amounts to 38.8% of its catchment area and 36.9% for NHS Liverpool, indicating a possible health service effect on those receiving autism diagnosis.

The team used four years’ worth of data from the Summer School Census, which collects data from individuals aged 1-18 in state-funded schools in the UK. Of the 32 million students studied, more than 102,000 new autism diagnoses were identified between 2014 and 2017.

After adjusting for age and sex, the researchers found that one in 234 children was newly diagnosed with autism during that four-year period. New diagnoses tend to occur as children move to a new school, whether it’s kindergarten (1-3 years old), elementary school (4-6 years old), and high school (10-12 years old).

Specific communities seem to have different rates, varying by ethnicity and deprivation.

Lead researcher Dr Andres Roman-Urrestarazu from the Cambridge Department of Psychiatry and Public Health at the University of Cambridge said, “Autism diagnoses are more common among black students and other minority groups. ethnic groups. Why this case is not clear and so we need to explore the role of social factors such as ethnicity and regional shortages as well as the nature of local services. “

Girls are three times more likely to receive an autism diagnosis depending on their ethnicity and social and financial situation, compared with non-financially English-speaking white girls. their native language.

In contrast, the likelihood of boys receiving an autism diagnosis increased more than fivefold depending on ethnicity and society and financial situationcompared to white boys who were not at a financial disadvantage, who spoke English as their first language.

Boys and young men have been known to be more likely to receive an autism diagnosis, but the social determinants that may influence the diagnosis remains an open question.

Dr Robin van Kessel, co-lead of the study from the Department of Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said, “These new findings show how social determinants interact and can be combined to significantly increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of autism. As a result, individuals of ethnic minority background experience economic hardship may be more likely to receive an autism diagnosis than their peers. “

Professor Carol Brayne from Cambridge Department of Public Health said, “There are clear inequalities in an individual’s ability to receive a diagnosis of autism, whether it is socioeconomic factors, ethnicity, or ethnicity. or even the NHS or local government area someone lives in.”


Autism rates have increased and show differences among ethnic minorities


More information:
Autism prevalence and spatial analysis in more than 7 million pupils in UK schools: a retrospective, longitudinal, school registry, Lancet Child & Adolescent Health (In 2022). DOI: 10.1016 / S2352-4642 (22) 00247-4

Quote: Chances of receiving a diagnosis of autism may depend on where you live (in 2022, October 24) accessed October 24, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-10- likelkel-autism-diagnosis.html

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