Department of Economics and Business Economics

The Changing Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Kristen Lyall, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
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  • Lisa Croen, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, CA 94612.
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  • Julie Daniels, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Grillings School of Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.
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  • M Daniele Fallin, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 and Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
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  • Christine Ladd-Acosta, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
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  • Brian K Lee, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 and Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, SE 171-77 Stockholm, Sweden.
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  • Bo Y Park, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 and Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
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  • Nathaniel W Snyder, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
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  • Diana Schendel
  • Heather E Volk, Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 and Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.
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  • Gayle C Windham, California Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, Richmond, CA 94804.
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  • Craig Newschaffer, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104; email: cjn32@drexel.edu.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition with lifelong impacts. Genetic and environmental factors contribute to ASD etiology, which remains incompletely understood. Research on ASD epidemiology has made significant advances in the past decade. Current prevalence is estimated to be at least 1.5% in developed countries, with recent increases primarily among those without comorbid intellectual disability. Genetic studies have identified a number of rare de novo mutations and gained footing in the areas of polygenic risk, epigenetics, and gene-by-environment interaction.Epidemiologic investigations focused on nongenetic factors have established advanced parental age and preterm birth as ASD risk factors, indicated that prenatal exposure to air pollution and short interpregnancy interval are potential risk factors, and suggested the need for further exploration of certain prenatal nutrients, metabolic conditions, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. We discuss future challenges and goals for ASD epidemiology as well as public health implications. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Public Health Volume 38 is March 20, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnual Review of Public Health
Volume38
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
ISSN0163-7525
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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