Friday, February 12, 2010
Autistic Spectrum Disorders Report - 2009
This report provides data about the high frequency of physical defects among children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders in an analysis of 137 Autistic Spectrum Disorders in a database of 2030 cases of birth defects in the National Birth Defect Registry. The report also includes the most frequent parental exposures and illnesses recorded for pre-conception and pregnancy.
The National Birth Defect Registry was started in 1990 by Birth Defect Research for Children (BDRC) to collect information on all kinds of birth defects both structural and functional, as well as information on the pre-conceptual and prenatal health, genetic factors and exposure histories of both parents. The Registry was designed and evaluated by an advisory board of seven prominent scientists working in fields ranging from obstetrics and genetics to epidemiology and the effects of toxic exposures on reproduction. The original questionnaire for the project was a
16-page booklet that parents filled out and mailed to BDRC. Data from the questionnaire were then manually entered into an inter-relational data base. Approximately 4,000 case reports were collected in this version of the registry.
In April of 2004, BDRC converted the registry to an on-line project so that parents could fill out the questionnaire at any convenient time of the day or night. The on-line project also made it easier to add new sections to the registry questionnaire without the cost of reprinting thousands of questionnaire booklets and mailing them to parents. The quality of data collection is more accurate as well, since the parent enters information directly into the on-line questionnaire and
then BDRC staff imports the questionnaire into the main registry.
The registry is designed to identify patterns of similar birth defects that may have similar conditions or exposures in common in the parents’ pregnancy or pre-conceptual history. A slide presentation http://www.birthdefects.org/NIEHS/3510.html made to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences explains the operation of the registry and some of the birth defect issues BDRC has worked on using registry data.
Since April of 2004, parents have completed 1853 questionnaires with case reports for 2030 children (more than one child in a family can be reported on a questionnaire) in the on-line National Birth Defect Registry. We have reports for 1095 males, 926 females and 9 cases where the gender was not entered.