ASD: 1 in 45 Children identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States

CDC: child autism rate now one in 45 after survey method changes

Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey

image of autiist-children
About one in 45 children has an autism spectrum disorder, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of parents. This apparent increase is likely due to a change of questions parents were asked about their child, the study authors said. Image credit CDC.

National Health Statistics Reports 2015 Abstract

The developmental disabilities questions in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were changed from previous years, including question reordering and a new approach to asking about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This report examines survey-based estimates of the lifetime prevalence of ASD, intellectual disability (ID), and any other developmental delay (other DD) following the inclusion of a standalone ASD question, the inclusion of specific diagnoses in the ASD question, and the ASD question preceding the other DD question, and compares them with estimates from previous years.

In NHIS, one child is randomly selected from each family to be the subject of detailed questions on health conditions, functional limitations, and health care utilization. Parents are asked if a doctor or health professional had ever told them that their child had each of a series of developmental disabilities. Prevalence estimates of ASD, ID, and other DD for children aged 3–17 years were calculated using data collected in 2011–2014.

The estimated prevalence of ASD based on 2014 data was 2.24%, (1 in 45) in 2014, while averaging 1.25% (1 in 80) from 2011 through 2013. In contrast, the prevalence of other DD declined significantly from 4.84% based on 2011–2013 data to 3.57% based on 2014 data. The prevalence of ID did not significantly change from 2011–2013 (1.27%) to 2014 (1.10%). The prevalence of having any of the three conditions was constant across survey years.

The revised question ordering and new approach to asking about developmental disabilities in the 2014 NHIS likely affected the prevalence estimates of these conditions. In previous years, it is likely that some parents of children diagnosed with ASD reported this developmental disability as other DD instead of, or in addition to, ASD. Following these changes, the 2014 ASD estimate was more similar to ASD prevalence estimates from other sources.

More Information

  • CDC: child autism rate now one in 45 after survey method changes, medicalxpress, November 13, 2015.
  • Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, CDC, November 13, 2015.
  • Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2008, CDC, 61(SS03);1-19, March 2012.
  • Community Report From the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring, CDC, ADDM Network 2012.

What Known Carcinogen are in Your Cosmetics?

What Toxic Cosmetics Are in This Look Good, Feel Better Bag?

BreastCancerAction is telling the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society that “Poison Isn’t Pretty.” @BCAction demand these multi-million dollar industry giants stop pinkwashing and start protecting women’s health.

Look Good, Feel Better is a program run by the Personal Care Products Council and the American Cancer Society; they hold free workshops that give beauty tips and complimentary makeup kits to women in cancer treatment—support that some women understandably value while facing a cancer diagnosis.

The downside? Many of the products offered to women in Look Good, Feel Better make-up kits contain chemicals linked to increased cancer risk and some of the chemicals may actually interfere with breast cancer treatment.

Demand these multi-million dollar industry giants stop pinkwashing and start protecting women’s health.

Sources and more information

  • What Toxic Cosmetics Are in This Look Good, Feel Better Bag (And Also On a Store Shelf Near You)?, BC Action blog, October 8, 2015.
  • Poison Isn’t Pretty, BC Action campaign brief.
  • Poison Isn’t Pretty, BC Action press release.
  • Our videos and posts tagged Safe Cosmetics.

Genital clear cell adenocarcinoma

A carefully structured screening program of the DES exposed is needed

painting of CCAC
DiEthylStilbestrol usage review buttress the need for adequate and rigorous research into the use of drugs in pregnancy and ensure that they do more good than harm before being introduced for consumption.

1983 Study Abstract

Genital clear cell adenocarcinoma is a rare cancer in young women related to prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES).

From the Diethylstilbestrol Registry, an analysis of 57 cases of genital clear cell adenocarcinoma is presented from the state of California, the most populous state in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of these patients have positive histories of prenatal diethylstilbestrol exposure.

The majority of patients had early-stage genital cancer. Generally, early-stage clear cell cancer is successfully treated with radical pelvic surgery. A carefully structured screening program of the DES exposed patient is advised.

Sources and more information
  • International surgery, Johnston GA Jr, Jones HA., 1983 Jul-Sep;68(3):257-61, NCBI PMID: 6662641.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Germ-killing cleaning products contain chemicals that appear to weaken fertility

Virginia Tech study finds common household chemicals affect reproduction in mice

image of cleaning
Cleaning your bathroom? Along with killing germs some products could also be doing a number on sperm production and ovulation . Common ingredients in the cleaning sprays for your kitchen and bathroom make mice less fertile, suggesting the compounds could do the same to humans.

2014 Study Abstract

Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) are common ingredients in household bathroom and kitchen cleaning sprays. ADBAC+DDAC cause reproductive toxicity in mice. The aim of the present study was to investigate gender-specific reproductive effects from ADBAC+DDAC. Female reproduction was assessed through ovulation, oocyte implantation, and estrus cycling. Male reproductive function was assessed by sperm concentration, motility, and viability. Numbers of corpora lutea were not different after 2 weeks, but decreased after 8 weeks of ADBAC+DDAC exposure. Dams exposed for 5 weeks to ADBAC+DDAC spent significantly less time in estrus. ADBAC+DDAC exposed males exhibited declines in both sperm concentration and motility, but not sperm viability. Subfertility in mice from ADBAC+DDAC exposure is, therefore, mediated through reproductive disturbances in both females and males. While the effect of ADBAC+DDAC exposure on human health is unclear, widespread exposure necessitates further consideration of their potential reproductive toxicity.

Sources and More Information
  • Germ-killing bathroom sprays appear to weaken fertility, Environmental Health News, November 12, 2015.
  • Quaternary Ammonium Disinfectants Cause Subfertility in Mice by Targeting both Male and Female Reproductive Processes, sciencedirect, doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.10.006, 12 November 2015.
  • Virginia Tech study finds common household chemicals affect reproduction in mice, vtnews, Aug. 14, 2014

Ni Homme, ni Femme: le “Troisième Genre”

“Sexe neutre” : le “troisième genre” enfin reconnu en France?

Personne intersexuée: “Je suis la preuve indubitable que l’on peut vivre avec deux sexes“.

Une personne intersexuée – née avec des organes génitaux masculins et féminins – a été reconnue de “sexe neutre” par le tribunal de grande instance (TGI) de Tours (Indre-et-Loire) dans un jugement rendu le 20 août 2015.

En savoir plus

Uterus Transplant Procedure part of new Clinical Trial in the U.S.

First clinical trial of uterus transplantation in the US wins approval

drawing of uterine-transplant
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are preparing to transplant a uterus into a woman who lacks one, so she can become pregnant and give birth. If the procedure is successful, any children would be born by cesarean section and the mother would have the transplanted uterus removed after having one or two babies.
Sources: Dr. Tommaso Falcone, Cleveland Clinic; BioDigital by The New York Times.

Ten women in the United States will soon be chosen to undergo the nation’s first uterus transplants, as part of a research study at the Cleveland Clinic.

The procedure is still highly experimental, and not all of the risks are known:

  • Who needs a uterus transplant?
  • Has this been done before?
  • Will the women be able to become pregnant from sex?
  • What are the risks?
  • After the transplant, how long will it be before the women become pregnant?
  • What happens after the women give birth?
Fo more information
  • U.S. Uterus Transplants: 6 Things to Know, livescience, November 13, 2015.
  • Uterus Transplants May Soon Help Some Infertile Women in the U.S. Become Pregnant, The New York Times, NOV. 12, 2015.
  • First clinical trial of uterus transplantation in the US wins approval, medicalnewstoday, 13 November 2015.

How Period Trackers have changed Girl Culture

Our Bodies, Our Apps: For the Love of Period-Trackers

image of girl-and-phone
Period-tracking apps are exactly what they sound like — simple menstrual calendars that help you keep track of monthly cycles as well as symptoms like mood fluctuations or headaches. Summer Skyes 11

My 18-year-old daughter knows exactly when it will be that time of the month. Since June, she’s been plugging the dates of her menstrual cycle into a popular period tracking app, and has it programmed to send her an alert every month, two days before her next period is due.

There are over 200 different period tracker apps to choose from, and they are immensely popular.

Continue reading:

  • How Period Trackers Have Changed Girl Culture,
    nytimes, NOVEMBER 12, 2015
  • Our Bodies, Our Apps: For the Love of Period-Trackers,
    nytimes, JANUARY 23, 2014.
Some suggestions…

UK Dept of Health plan to halve stillbirth, neonatal and maternal deaths

New ambition to halve rate of stillbirths and infant deaths

This post content is published by Gov UK Department of Health

image of parent_holding_baby_hand
Government announces new commitment to ensure England is one of the safest places in the world to have a baby.

New ambition to halve rate of stillbirths and infant deaths

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a new ambition to reduce the rate of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths in England by 50% by 2030.

The number of brain injuries occurring during or soon after birth will also be targeted as part of a new commitment by the government, in partnership with consultants, midwives and other experts across the country to make England one of the safest places to have a baby.

The government will work with national and international experts to ensure that best practice is applied consistently across the NHS and that staff can review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death.

Maternity services will be asked to come up with initiatives that can be more widely adopted across the country as part of a national approach – such as appointing maternity safety champions to report to the board and ensuring all staff have the right training to enable them to identify the risks and symptoms of perinatal mental health.

Trusts will receive a share of over £4 million of government investment to buy high-tech digital equipment and to provide training for staff already working to improve outcomes for mums and babies. This includes a £2.24 million fund to help trusts to buy monitoring or training equipment to improve safety, such as cardiotocography (CTG) equipment to monitor babies’ heartbeat and quickly detect problems, or training mannequins that staff can practise emergency procedures on.

A further £500,000 will be invested in developing a new system for staff to review and learn from every stillbirth and neonatal death. The new safety investigation unit will also be asked, once established, to consider a particular focus on maternity cases for its first year.

Over £1 million will be invested in rolling out training packages developed in agreement with the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to make sure staff have the skills and confidence they need to deliver world-leading safe care.

This builds on previous government commitments to invest £75 million in improving perinatal mental health services and ensuring all maternity care is considered as part of ‘Ofsted style’ ratings for commissioners.

Over time this initiative will allow the money spent on caring for injured children or paid as compensation to be re-invested in improved front line services.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

The NHS is already a safe place to give birth, but the death or injury of even one new baby or mum is a devastating tragedy which we must do all we can to prevent.

With more support and greater transparency in maternity services across England we will ensure every mother and baby receives the best and safest care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – this is at the heart of the NHS values we are backing with funding from a strong economy.

Countries like Sweden are proof that focusing on these issues can really improve safety – with the help of staff on the frontline, we can improve standards here at home.

The ambition is part of a wider government aim to reduce all avoidable harm by 50% and save 6,000 lives by 2017, and it will form a key part of the work of the patient safety campaign Sign up to Safety. The government will align next steps with the Independent Review of Maternity Services’ recommendations, which is already looking at ways to improve quality and safety.

Dr David Richmond, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:

We support this initiative and our important role in it as leaders of the profession. Good progress has been made but the fact is many of these incidents could be avoided with improvements to the care women and their babies receive.

The RCOG will continue to work closely with our clinical colleagues and the Royal College of Midwives to provide better multi-disciplinary training packages and promote more effective team working, so that this aspect of care can be improved. The challenges of reducing health problems and deaths in mothers and babies due to contributory factors such as smoking, obesity and alcohol also require similar commitment.

Medical Contacts in the UK for the DES Exposed

Who to turn to, to seek professional medical advice in the UK (if you are DES exposed)

We are often contacted by DES Daughters and DES Sons in the UK, who do not know who to turn to, to seek professional medical advice. They have seen their GP, they have discussed their concerns, they have flagged that they’ve been exposed to DES but their concerns are being dismissed. They are turning to the internet to find answers and to us to seek advice. Unfortunately the UK DES Action Group who used to provide professional guidance has closed its doors due to lack of support and funding. We were in the same situation as those turning to us today so we contacted Réseau DES France and DES Action USA for guidance.

The list below was provided to us a few years ago by DES Réseau France.
We hope you find it useful.


John Shepherd
Barts Health Bartholomew’s Hospital
West Smithfield
Switchboard: 44 (0)207 377 7000
directions – facebooktwitter.


Michael Emens and Joe Jordan
Birmingham Womens Hospital
Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston
B15 2TG
Phone: 44 (0)121 472 1377
directions – facebooktwitter.


Henry Kitchener
St Mary’s Hospital
Oxford Road
(access from Hathersage Road)
Manchester – M13 9WL
Phone: 44 (0)161 276 1234
directions – facebooktwitter.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

How invalid messages about screening mammography can be detrimental to women

Understanding the Harms and Benefits of Routine Breast Cancer Screening

Download and print a PDF – Understanding the Harms and Benefits of Routine Breast Cancer Screening.

This post content was published by APHA, the American Public Health Association: For science. For action. For health

The goal of breast cancer screening is to prevent women from dying from breast cancer, and for thirty years we have been told by industry that regular mammograms will save our lives. Current science shows that screening mammograms do not reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer and comes with significant harms including false positives, overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Many mainstream public health and breast cancer organizations have neglected to update their positions and educational materials with these evidence-based changes. How can we hold these national organizations accountable for pushing a scientifically invalid message?

Conveying information in an accessible and visually engaging way, the brochure, Should I Have A Mammogram: Understanding the Harms and Benefits of Routine Breast Cancer Screening, is designed to provide important evidence based information for women at “average risk”. As women evaluate their health decisions, they must have access to unbiased information, free from conflict of interest and without the heavy thumb of vested interests tipping the balance. Download and print a PDF.

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