Vol. 5, Issue 7 (2019)
Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among rural and urban children (1–10 Years of Age): A study in Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Author(s): Dr. Asma Hoque, Dr. Mohammad Mashiur Rahman, Dr. Akter Hossan Masud, Dr. Razia Sultana, Dr. Mustafa Mahbub
Abstract: Introduction: Studies on autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have largely focused on children in specific settings. The current scenario of research in ASDs is limited largely to clinic-based cross-sectional reports and retrospective chart reviews. The present study is children-based prevalence study conducted across rural and urban children in hospital admitted patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional two-phase study was conducted covering children in the age group of 1–10 years of age across geographical regions representing rural and urban children’s. Those identified as suspected of ASD and 10% of all classified as no suspects for autism were also evaluated by the clinical team. Results: A total of 278 children in the age group of (1–10 years) participants were screened using the standardized tools. The children sample included 159 (50.1%) females and 119 (49.9%) males. The number of females exceeded the number of males in the rural children, whereas it was opposite for the urban children. The mean age of the children screened in urban area (male: 71.45 ± 32.73, female: 70.33 ± 32.87) was higher than that of rural children. Logistic regression analysis showed a two times significantly higher risk of diagnosing ASD in rural area as compared to rural (odds ratio [OR]; 26 (0.24; 95% CI=0.12-0.28) P = 0.04). Male sex and upper socioeconomic group of head of family had a higher risk of getting diagnosed as autism as compared to lower socioeconomic group (OR; 95% CI - 3.23; 0.24–44.28, P = 0.38). Conclusions: Estimation of true prevalence of ASD in Bangladesh is going to improve policies on developmental disabilities.
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