Background: Autism spectrumdisorder (ASD) commonly presents with co-occurring medical conditions (CoCs). Little is known about patterns in CoCs in a time of rising ASD prevalence. Aims: To describe trends in number and type of documented CoCs in 8-year-old children with ASD. Methods: We used Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) data, a multi-source active surveillance system monitoring ASD prevalence among 8-year-old children across the US. Data from surveillance years 2002, 2006, 2008, and 2010 were used to describe trends in count, categories, and individual CoCs. Results: Mean number of CoCs increased from 0.94 CoCs in 2002 to 1.06 CoCs in 2010 (p < 0.001). The percentage of children with ASD with any CoC increased from 44.5% to 56.4% (p < 0.001). CoCs with the greatest increases were in general developmental disability (10.4% to 14.5%), language disorder (18.9% to 23.6%), and motor developmental disability (10.5% to 15.6%). Sex modified the relationship between developmental (P = 0.02) and psychiatric (P < 0.001) CoCs and surveillance year. Race/ethnicity modified the relationship between neurological conditions (P = 0.04) and surveillance year. Conclusions: The increase in the percentage of children with ASD and CoCs may suggest the ASD phenotype has changed over time or clinicians are more likely to diagnose CoCs.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Co-occurring conditions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology