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Around the World

ASD is the fastest growing neurobiological condition in the world.8 While the World Health Organization (WHO) does not maintain global statistics on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders or appropriate treatments specifically, its 2007 Global Burden of Disease report on mental and neurological disorders highlighted the critical situation the world faces with a growing population that includes those with autism. The report demonstrated that traditional epidemiological methods of disease had been greatly underestimating mental and neurological disorders by tracking mortality, not disability rates, which it estimates accounts for almost 11 percent of global disease burden. The study concluded that the proportionate share of the total global burden of disease due to neuropsychiatric disorders is projected to rise to 14.7 percent by 2020.

Following is a chart showing recent incidence rates in selected countries:

Estimated Number of Individuals with Autism in Selected Nations, 2007 (calculated from prevalence rates in some cases)

COUNTRY

NUMBER

DATA SOURCE

China

1,100,000

Peking Health Science Center (estimate based on official 2005 rate of 1.1 in 1,000 children affected)

India

2,000,000

Action for Autism India (based on an estimated rate of 1 in 250)

United States

1,500,000

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ADDME Study 2007 and Autism Society of America

United Kingdom

650,000

National Autistic Society 2006 (based on rate of 1 in 100)

Mexico

150,000

Based on estimates by Ministry of Health of 2 to 6 per 1,000

Philippines

500,000

Autism Society of Philippines

Thailand

180,000

Estimate of the Minister of Mental Health

 

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