2013-01-04 14:10:24.880398-08 by petronius 2 comments
An interesting item via BoingBoing: Autism diagnoses go up or down depending on where you live. Even odder, if you move to certain neighborhoods in LA you can become autistic, sorta. This is a bit like things I've heard before about other medical procedures existing in hotspots, so that some cities do more appendectomies than others, for no good reason. Often its one or two surgical enthusiasts driving the spike. I also know a doctor who said that spikes in difficult to nail down illnesses like Kawasaki Disease usually appear right after an article on the illness gets published in a medical journal.
[ related topics: Health ]
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I read something recently that asserted that developmental disabilities dropped off sharply after some federal funding of education based on that diagnosis dried up. Will have to dig deeper.
This even occurs with individual MDs. I knew one who correctly diagnosed a case of Marfan's syndrome, and was positive he found more cases for months after that (he was very short, so everyone looked tall to him.)
Similar occurrence with a pediatrician who thought incorrectly that she had found a case of lupus in a child with the characteristic, but not diagnostic "butterfly" rash, and looked for lupus in every child she saw for some time.
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