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Autism correlated to wealth

2010-07-19 22:17:32.728796+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

Autism is more common in children of wealthier parents, unconfirmed speculation in this article is that that's due to older fathers.

[ related topics: Children and growing up ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-28 17:29:08.978242+00 by: Dan Lyke

This MeFi entry about someone trying to make a buck beating on the "ultrasounds cause autism" drum points out that the paper he quotes suggests that they don't.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-24 15:15:02.560261+00 by: jeff

What effect on autism will the middle-class being systematically destroyed by global corporations have?

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-22 16:57:46.342259+00 by: Dan Lyke

Shadow, I think there's lots of theories, nailing it down conclusively is hard.

And it'll be made even harder by the potential to make money off of claims of what causes it: Marin County has a higher than "average" breast cancer rate, except that if you normalize for income it isn't out of whack. So rich women have more breast cancer, and this is something worth studying, but there are several "non-profits" devoted to getting donations to study the "high incidence" of breast cancer in Marin County.

Some folks making a good living off of bad science.

The autism field is already full of scam artists (see especially Andrew Wakefield), and it's only going to get worse, especially since this is something that biases towards higher income families.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-22 03:05:29.644227+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Maybe many successful people have variations of Aspergers, which then leads to them having some autistic kids?

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-21 16:40:35.566755+00 by: John Anderson

The study attempted to reduce "ascertainment bias" -- i.e., the fact that children of richer people are more likely to get an actual diagnosis of an ASD -- by looking at behavioral records from schools. So it equally as well supports the idea that children of poor parents are much more likely to attend school districts that don't exhaustively document ASD-like behavior...

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-20 20:12:38.204344+00 by: mkelley

Maybe it's caused by bottled water.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-07-20 19:17:19.836107+00 by: petronius

Much of the article is uncomfirmed speculation, alas. The comments are interesting. One suggests that the problem is pre-natal ultrasounds, and that medicaid cutbacks are resulting in fewer for the poor, thus less autism. of course, is anybody tracking less pre-natal care with increases in spina bifida or spontaneous miscarriages? Another comment suggests that rich people eat more white bread, thus..... except that in the US the rich are more likely to eat artisanal bread and whole wheat.