Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Ethnicity Plays Role in Age of Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Ethnicity Plays Role in Age of Autism Spectrum Diagnosis

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Hispanic and African American children are more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder after age 3 years than are white children, a retrospective study of more than 250 children with the disorder shows.

Hispanic children were almost three times more likely than were white children (odds ratio, 2.93) to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after their third birthday. African American children were twice as likely as white children to be diagnosed with ASD after age 3 (OR 2.1), Dr. Maria Valicenti-McDermott reported in a poster at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.

The findings have implications for improving outcomes for Hispanic and African American children. Early diagnosis of ASD has been associated with better long-term prognosis. In light of this, the identification of factors associated with delays in diagnosis might be critical.

"Programs that target underserved groups of children, their families, and their health care providers are needed to facilitate earlier referral for Hispanic children," the researchers wrote. …

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