Friday, July 16, 2010

Autism and Income?

This is a comment on:
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/autism-a-disease-of-the-rich/

Within all ethnic groups, wealthier parents were more likely to have autistic children, and the pattern held for undiagnosed autistic children as well.

The original paper commented on is at:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0011551

The title says it all: "Socioeconomic Inequality in the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from a U.S. Cross-Sectional Study"

I have no idea if this represents the ability of parents to obtain screening, the general age of wealthier parents, or some other factor(s). Also, as this is from PLoS, not a traditional peer-reviewed journal, I'm sure there will be some discussion of the research methods. However, we are seeing that PLoS submissions are improving dramatically -- many researchers are simply avoiding the expensive, proprietary journal process.

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