Socioeconomic Status and the Risk of Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders Among 18-Month-Old Toddlers in Japan: A Population-Based Study
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The association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and the suspected autism spectrum disorder (ASD) status of 18-month-old toddlers was investigated using a population-based sample in Japan, which has a universal healthcare system and a mandatory health checkup system for toddlers. Questionnaires including SES measurements and modified checklist for autism in toddlers were mailed to all families with 18-month-old toddlers in Chiba, a city near Tokyo (N = 6,061; response rate: 64 %). The results of logistic regression analysis (which were adjusted for potential confounders) indicated that low maternal education, but not paternal education or family income, were associated with having suspected ASD offspring. Lower maternal education was associated with an increased risk of autistic traits in Japan.
KeywordsAutism Autism spectrum disorders Epidemiology Health care system Socioeconomic status
This study was supported by grants from a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology KAKENHI (21119003). I also thank Ms Akiko Okada at Chiba City Health Center for her arrangements of this study.
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