What to Know
New Jersey has seen an increase in autism cases over the span of four years, according to a new report by the CDC
Among the seven states analyzed, New Jersey had the highest rate of children with autism spectrum disorders, the report says
Rutgers says the rate of children on the autism spectrum increased 43 percent from 2010 to 2014.
New Jersey has seen an increase in autism cases over the span of four years, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Among the seven states analyzed — Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin — New Jersey had the highest rate of children with autism spectrum disorders, according to the report.
According to the CDC, which used research information by Rutgers University, the percentage of 4-year-old children with autism spectrum disorders in New Jersey increased from 19.7 per 1,000 children in 2010 to 28.4 per 1,000 in 2014.
Overall the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders nationwide is 17 per 1,000 children. The disorder is more common among boys than girls and white children are more often diagnosed.
Although the estimates are not representative of the country as a whole, they are considered the benchmarks of autism spectrum disorder prevalence, Walter Zahorodny, an associate professor of pediatrics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who directed the New Jersey portion of the study, said in a statement issued by the university.
The report used information from the health and special education records of children who were 4 years old between 2010 to 2014 and included comparison with children who were 8 years old in that time period.
The prevalence of an autism spectrum disorder among children aged 4 years was about 40 percent higher in New Jersey in 2014 than in 2010, according to the report, while Rutgers puts the rate increase, from 2010 to 2014, at 43 percent.
Among children aged 4 years, the rate of white children on the autism spectrum was 29.4 per 1,000 in New Jersey in 2014 and 33.1 per 1,000 among African-American children, according to the report, the highest among the states analyzed.
The prevalence among Hispanic children was also the highest in New Jersey with 28.2 per 1,000.
The report found that the prevalence of autism in both boys and girls age 4 to be the highest in New Jersey in 2014. Per every 1,000 boys, 44 were diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder while for every 1,000 girls the rate is 12.1.
According to the report, across all sites and surveillance years, the median age at first known evaluation for autism spectrum disorders among children aged 4 years ranged from 23 to 37 months, and 48.8 percent to 88.9 percent received their first evaluation by age 36 months.