April 12, 2019 | Number of The Day
Increase in the rate of autism among 4-year-olds in NJ

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a study tapping Rutgers University research that shows a 43 percent increase in the rate of autism spectrum disorder reported in New Jersey between 2010 and 2014.

The report found that New Jersey’s rate was the highest of the states studied: one in 35 4-year-olds here, versus one in 59 elsewhere.

New Jersey’s higher rates are likely due to more accurate or complete reporting based on education and healthcare records, researchers said. Similar studies were conducted in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

Rutgers professor Walter Zahorodny, who directed the New Jersey portion of the study, said the analysis shows U.S. autism rates are continuing to rise without plateauing. He called the results “consistent, broad and startling.”