Autism Spectrum Disorders in Greece: Nationwide Prevalence in 10–11-Year-Old, (2020), Thomaides L., Mavroeidi N.

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) constitute a public health concern with increasing prevalence worldwide. We aimed to estimate prevalence and age at diagnosis in Greece, where no large-scale prevalence study has ever been conducted. Aggregate data were collected on ASD diagnoses by gender and calendar year of diagnosis up to 2019, for children born in 2008 and 2009, from the Centers for Educational and Counseling Support, which evaluate children to receive special educational support in school. Coverage was 87.1% of centers and 88.1% of schoolchildren born in 2008–9. ASD prevalence overall was 1.15% (1.83% males, 0.44% females; ratio 4.14:1), ranging from 0.59% to 1.50% in Greece’s 13 regions. In five regions, prevalence differed significantly between centers. Overall, only 3.8% of diagnoses were made before the fourth year after birth and 42.7% before the sixth year, with considerable variation between regions. Approximate mean age at diagnosis was six years and one month, and about three months earlier for girls than for boys. Our results provide evidence-based information to guide service planning and development at national and regional levels. Particular attention should be paid to smoothing out inequalities regarding service accessibility and provision. Emphasis should be given to earlier identification and diagnosis of ASD.

Citation: Thomaidis L, Mavroeidi N, Richardson C, Choleva A, Damianos G, Bolias K, Tsolia M. Autism Spectrum Disorders in Greece: Nationwide Prevalence in 10-11 Year-Old Children and Regional Disparities. J Clin Med. 2020 Jul 8;9(7):2163. doi: 10.3390/jcm9072163. PMID: 32650567; PMCID: PMC7408756.


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