Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in China: A Nationwide Multi-center Population-based Study Among Children Aged 6 to 12 Years

LATENT-NHC Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to obtain the first national estimate of the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Chinese children. We targeted the population of 6 to 12-year-old children for this prevalence study by multistage convenient cluster sampling. The Modified Chinese Autism Spectrum Rating Scale was used for the screening process. Of the target population of 142,086 children, 88.5% (n = 125,806) participated in the study. A total of 363 children were confirmed as having ASD. The observed ASD prevalence rate was 0.29% (95% CI: 0.26%–0.32%) for the overall population. After adjustment for response rates, the estimated number of ASD cases was 867 in the target population sample, thereby achieving an estimated prevalence of 0.70% (95% CI: 0.64%–0.74%). The prevalence was significantly higher in boys than in girls (0.95%; 95% CI: 0.87%–1.02% versus 0.30%; 95% CI: 0.26%–0.34%; P < 0.001). Of the 363 confirmed ASD cases, 43.3% were newly diagnosed, and most of those (90.4%) were attending regular schools, and 68.8% of the children with ASD had at least one neuropsychiatric comorbidity. Our findings provide reliable data on the estimated ASD prevalence and comorbidities in Chinese children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-971
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroscience Bulletin
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • Autism Spectrum Rating Scale
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • China
  • Co-morbidity
  • Prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

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