The UCLA-University of Utah epidemiologic survey of autism: prevalence

Am J Psychiatry. 1989 Feb;146(2):194-9. doi: 10.1176/ajp.146.2.194.


The authors conducted an epidemiologic survey in Utah using a four-level ascertainment system, blind current diagnostic assessments, and DSM-III criteria. Of 483 individuals ascertained, 241 were diagnosed as having autism. The best estimate for the prevalence rate was 4 per 10,000 population. Autism was not associated with parental education, occupation, racial origin, or religion. Sixty-six percent of the autistic subjects scored below 70 on standardized IQ tests, and females scored proportionately lower than males. Twenty (9.7%) of 207 families had more than one autistic sibling, which supports the authors' previous finding that there may be a familial subtype of autism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Parents
  • Religion
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class
  • Utah