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Clinical Studies

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  • Autism Spectrum Disorder: Birth Cohort 1976-2000, Epidemiology and Adult Status Rochester, Minn.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong neurodevelopmental conditions with mostly unknown etiology that have a huge impact on affected individuals and their families, and are a major public health concern.  Significant gaps exist in the knowledge of ASD frequency and its possible rising trend.  Detailed characterization of ASD cases ASD subtypes is sparse, and potential risk factors (etiologies) are still unknown.  We will study certain risk factors like perinatal risk factors and family history (parents, siblings) of psychiatric disorders.  Knowledge about adult outcomes of ASD cases identified in childhood is almost non-existent.  ASD-associated medical costs are high, yet information to improve cost-effective medical management is lacking.  A unique set of circumstances, including population-based birth cohort of all children born 1976-2000 to mothers residing in Olmsted County, MN (N=43,934), access to detailed medical records for every child in the birth cohort (Rochester Epidemiology Project-REP), and Olmsted County Healthcare Expenditure and Utilization Database (OCHEUD) provide the infrastructure to successfully work on this project. The knowledge achieved through this combined retrospective and prospective epidemiologic approach will substantially advance scientific/clinical knowledge about ASD.