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Annual trends in prevalence and incidence of autism spectrum disorders in Manitoba preschoolers and toddlers: 2004–2015

  • Amani F. Hamad
  • Silvia Alessi-Severini
  • Salaheddin M. Mahmud
  • Marni Brownell
  • I fan KuoEmail author
Quantitative Research

Abstract

Objectives

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are among the leading causes of disabilities in children. We examined the annual prevalence and incidence rate of ASD between 2004 and 2015 in children aged 1 to 5 years residing in Manitoba.

Methods

A population-based study was conducted using the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository. The study included children aged 1 to 5 years residing in Manitoba between 2004 and 2015. Standard identification algorithm was used to identify ASD cases from hospital abstracts and medical claims. Annual prevalence and incidence rates were calculated for the overall population and then stratified according to sex, region, and socio-economic status (SES). Multivariable negative binomial regression models, adjusted for sex, region, and SES, were used to examine changes in prevalence and incidence over study years.

Results

Among children aged 1 to 5 years, 1685 ASD cases were diagnosed between 2004 and 2015. The crude ASD prevalence increased from 0.46% in 2004 to 0.97% in 2015 (p = 0.002). The crude incidence rate increased from 0.16% in 2004 to 0.39% in 2015 (p = 0.002). The increase in ASD prevalence and incidence was observed in all subgroups based on sex, region, and SES. The adjusted negative binomial model showed an annual relative risk increase, since 2004, for both prevalence and incidence of 1.69 (95% CI 1.56–1.83) and 1.84 (95% CI 1.62–2.09), respectively.

Conclusion

During the period from 2004 to 2015, both prevalence and incidence rates of diagnosed ASD in preschoolers and toddlers residing in Manitoba increased significantly.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders ASD prevalence Time trends Public health monitoring 

Résumé

Objectifs

Les troubles du spectre de l’autisme (TSA) sont parmi les principales causes de handicap chez les enfants. Nous avons étudié le taux annuel de prévalence et d’incidence des TSA entre les années 2004 et 2015 chez les enfants âgés de 1 à 5 ans résidents du Manitoba.

Méthodes

Une étude basée sur une population a été menée à l’aide du Dépôt de données de recherche en santé des populations du Manitoba. L’étude incluait des enfants âgés de 1 à 5 ans qui résidaient au Manitoba entre 2004 et 2015. Un algorithme d’identification standard a servi à identifier les cas de TSA à partir des résumés hospitaliers et des réclamations au titre de frais médicaux. Les taux annuels de prévalence et d’incidence ont été calculés pour l’ensemble de la population, puis stratifiés en fonction du sexe, de la région et du statut socio-économique. Des modèles multivariables de régression binomiale négative ajustés en fonction du sexe, de la région et du statut socio-économique, ont été utilisés pour examiner les changements dans la prévalence et l’incidence sur la période étudiée.

Résultats

Parmi les enfants âgés de 1 à 5 ans, 1685 cas de TSA ont été diagnostiqués entre 2004 et 2015. Le taux de prévalence brut des TSA est passé de 0,46 % en 2004 à 0,97 % en 2015 (p = 0,002). Le taux d’incidence brut est passé de 0,16 % en 2004 à 0,39 % en 2015 (p = 0,002). L’augmentation de la prévalence et de l’incidence des TSA a été observée dans tous les sous-groupes en fonction du sexe, de la région et du statut socio-économique. Le modèle binomial négatif ajusté a montré une augmentation annuelle du risque relatif, depuis 2004, pour la prévalence et l’incidence respectivement de 1,69 (IC à 95% 1,56 – 1,83) et de 1,84 (IC à 95% 1,62 – 2,09).

Conclusion

Durant la période allant de 2004 à 2015, les taux de prévalence et d’incidence des enfants d’âge préscolaire et des tout-petits résidant au Manitoba chez qui l’on a diagnostiqué des TSA ont considérablement augmenté.

Mots-clés

Troubles du spectre autistique Prévalence des TSA Tendances temporelles Surveillance de la santé publique 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Charles Burchill and Heather Prior from the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy for their valuable support. The authors acknowledge the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy for use of data contained in the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository under project #H2016:244 (HIPC# 2016/2017 – 11). The results and conclusions are those of the authors and no official endorsement by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors or other data providers is intended or should be inferred. Data used in this study are from the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository housed at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, University of Manitoba and were derived from data provided by Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the University of Manitoba Health Research Ethics Board and the Health Information Privacy Committee of Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.

Supplementary material

41997_2019_181_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 21 kb)

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Department of Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Vaccine and Drug Evaluation CentreUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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