The Minneapolis Somali ASD Prevalence Project Community Report, 2013, assessed the number of children who were between age 7-9 in the year 2010 and who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. There was a significant difference in the number of males with an autism diagnosis compared to the number of females whether they were white, Hispanic, or black (of Somalian or non-Somalian ancestry). Statistics were not calculated for children of Asian or Native American ancestry because there were so few of them with an autism spectrum diagnosis within the research study’s designated age range and time frame. [http://rtc.umn.edu/autism/doc/Autism_report.pdf]
The Community Report discusses the prevalence and describes current diagnostic criteria but doesn’t include any theories about why autism may be more prevalent for male children or for children of white or Somalian ancestry.
The prevalence rates for children aged 7-9 diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 2010 in the Minneapolis area:
Overall Male: 1 in 30 Overall Female: 1 in 126
Somali Male: 1 in 20 Somali Female: 1 in 95
White Male: 1 in 23 White Female: 1 in 86
Black (non-Somali) Male: 1 in 36 Black (non-Somali) Female: 1 in 189
Hispanic Male: 1 in 43 Hispanic Female: 1 in 400 [http://rtc.umn.edu/autism/doc/Autism_report.pdf]
This data suggests that it might be a good idea for white males to start caring about preventing autism peri-natally, prenatally, or during early childhood, or any way possible, and it leads to the question of what it is that Asians and Native Americans are doing differently that may be helping protect against autism in their children or how they might be genetically different from people of white, black or Hispanic ancestry.
The difference rates seen between males and females might be explained by the dysfunctional alpha fetoprotein/vitamin D deficiency theory or it has also been suggested that the current diagnostic criteria based on behavior might be missing female children who have quieter symptoms. A newborn screening lab test could help identify infants more at risk to develop autism later whether they have loud disruptive symptoms or quiet lost-in-daydreams symptoms.
The Community Report clearly states that there is no diagnostic test available currently but stressed that early diagnosis and therapy can help children to remain more functional or regain some normal function. The report doesn’t mention the fifteen biomarker study that I found online but that study was published April 2013 so it may not have been available at the time the Community Report was written. [Mizejewski GJ1, Lindau-Shepard B, Pass KA. Newborn screening for autism: in search of candidate biomarkers. Biomark Med. 2013 Apr;7(2):247-60.] The abstract is available online for free. I bought the paper and provided a little more information about the screening lab tests that might be useful for identifying which newborns are most at risk for later developing autism, but you’ll have to buy the research article for the full details. — [http://transcendingsquare.com/2016/01/27/newborn-screening-for-autism-3-sets-of-5-potential-biomarkers/]
/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./