Autism more common than previously thought, major Cambridge University study finds
The University of Cambridge research which looked at more than seven million young people has found that autism is more common than previously thought. The study found that one in 57 children in England (1.76 per cent) is on the autistic spectrum. Previous estimates of the prevalence of autism by the same research group in Cambridge suggested fewer children - one in 64 (1.57 per cent) - are autistic.
The research, by scientists at the University of Cambridge's Department of Psychiatry alongside researchers from Newcastle University and Maastricht University, also found that black and Chinese pupils are 26 per cent and 38 per cent more likely to be autistic respectively.
The authors said the increase is likely to be due to the fact that autism has become better recognised by both parents and schools in recent years.
Lead researcher Dr Andres Roman-Urrestarazu, from the Autism Research Centre (ARC) and Cambridge Public Health at the University of Cambridge, said, "We can now see that autism is much more common than previously thought"
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