Parental socioeconomic status and risk of offspring autism spectrum disorders in a Swedish population-based study.

2 May

In many autism prevalence studies, higher socio-economic status (SES) for the parents is correlated with higher autism rates in the children of those families. While a conclusive reason for this has not been shown, it has been conjectured that the SES variability could be due to social influences such as access to care.

A recent study from Sweden shows the opposite. In this study, lower income families and children of parents with manual occupations show higher autism prevalence:

OBJECTIVE:
Epidemiological studies in the United States consistently find autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to be overrepresented in high socioeconomic status (SES) families. These findings starkly contrast with SES gradients of many health conditions, and may result from SES inequalities in access to services. We hypothesized that prenatal measures of low, not high, parental SES would be associated with an increased risk of offspring ASD, once biases in case ascertainment are minimized.

METHOD:
We tested this hypothesis in a population-based study in Sweden, a country that has free universal healthcare, routine screening for developmental problems, and thorough protocols for diagnoses of ASD. In a case-control study nested in a total population cohort of children aged 0 to 17 years living in Stockholm County between 2001 and 2007 (N = 589,114), we matched ASD cases (n = 4,709) by age and sex to 10 randomly selected controls. We retrieved parental SES measures collected at time of birth by record linkage.

RESULTS:
Children of families with lower income, and of parents with manual occupations (OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.3-1.6) were at higher risk of ASD. No important relationships with parental education were observed. These associations were present after accounting for parental ages, migration status, parity, psychiatric service use, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and birth characteristics; and regardless of comorbid intellectual disability.

CONCLUSIONS:
Lower, not higher, socioeconomic status was associated with an increased risk of ASD. Studies finding the opposite may be underestimating the burden of ASD in lower SES groups.

I haven’t been able to view the full study yet, so I am not sure what influences the authors may be implicated. What they do suggest is that the autism prevalence in lower SES groups may be underestimated in many prevalence estimates. I don’t think this will come as a surprise to many who consider the lower prevalence in the lower SES groups to be an indication of social factors at play.

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26 Responses to “Parental socioeconomic status and risk of offspring autism spectrum disorders in a Swedish population-based study.”

  1. Julie Anderton May 10, 2012 at 23:09 #

    http://www.cease-therapy.com

    Isotherapy treatment

    Using the causative substances as a homeopathic remedy, their profound toxic effects can be witnessed as the children begin to react to the remedies. The reactions on the isopathic remedies are so characteristic, that there can be no doubt about the existence of a link between the toxins as the cause and the development of Autism as its effects. In this way Dr. Smits discovered, step by step, why autism and other behavioral problems, with their specific developmental problems, have so dramatically increased over the last ten to twenty years. It also became clear that autistic children do not suffer from one single cause but from an accumulation of different causes.

    A very effective way to treat autism with amazing results.

    That is Dr. Smits’ conclusion after having seen over 300 cases of all levels of severity. In his experience autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70% is due to vaccines, 25% to toxic medication and other toxic substances, 5% to some diseases. With isotherapy (see below), a form of homeopathy using the causative substances themselves in homeopathic preparation, the toxic imprints can be erased.

  2. Chris May 11, 2012 at 01:33 #

    Homeopathy is a joke, Julie. And so is your spam.

  3. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 06:50 #

    In his experience autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70% is due to vaccines, 25% to toxic medication and other toxic substances, 5% to some diseases.

    Oh, spare us. The vaccines-cause-autism hypothesis has been looked at.
    Repeatedly.
    Multiple studies, including one that looked at over half a million children found no difference between the autism rates of the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
    In fact, the only item in your entire screed that’s correct is that diseases like mumps (prevented by the MMR) can cause autism.

  4. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 11:34 #

    @Julie:

    I’m real, I’m a mother who is curing her son with homeopathy. Who have been doing CEASE therapy and seeing amazing results.

    A lot of people don’t use CEASE, and guess what? Their children also undergo massive improvement.
    Autism is developmental delay, not developmental stasis. Your child would likely have flourished without the CEASE Therapy.

    By the way, Dr. Wakefield gave an interview and explains everything and I’m absolutely sure of his innocence, like many people are.

    Charming, smooth individuals have fooled many people before. Whenever a mass murderer is exposed, the first thing his neighbours say is “but he was such a charming person. I can’t believe it.”
    It doesn’t matter what you think, what matters is the evidence. And the evidence says Andrew Wakefield was paid by lawyers to find problems with the MMR, withheld this major conflict of interest and, when the data didn’t support his “study”, cooked it.

  5. Julie May 11, 2012 at 11:40 #

    @Julian Frost
    No, you are wrong.

    What matters to me, is not this discussion about Dr. Wakefield. What matters to me is the fact that countless parents report that their kids fell ill, and BECAME completely disabled after vaccines, MMR, DTP, you name it.

    And what really matters to me is the fact that I’m detoxing the vaccines and antibiotics of my son and I’m curing him, like many other parents in the world.

    THAT is what matters to me.

    My child would have flourished without it? Ask the mothers of 6, 7, 8 years old kids who were never able to speak, and ended up speaking after the detox.

    You don’t have a kid with autism, sir, it’s very clear to me.

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 17:43 #

      “What matters to me, is not this discussion about Dr. Wakefield. What matters to me is the fact that countless parents report that their kids fell ill, and BECAME completely disabled after vaccines, MMR, DTP, you name it.”

      And if the science had borne out their observations, this discussion would go on a different path.

      “It’s not SPAM. I’m real,”

      These are not mutually exclusive. Are you profiting from the pages you are promoting? Also, I see you are working around the measures I put in place to put your comments into moderation. Why is that? Am I not allowed to decide what happens here?

  6. Julie May 11, 2012 at 12:08 #

    @Julian Frost

    “It doesn’t matter what you think, what matters is the evidence. And the evidence says Andrew Wakefield was paid by lawyers to find problems with the MMR, withheld this major conflict of interest and, when the data didn’t support his “study”, cooked it”

    Well, the British courts have just reversed the condemnation of Dr. Walker-Smith by the GMC. Dr Wakefield was the paper’s chief author and Prof Walker-Smith the then head of the department of paediatric gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, where the research was carried out.

    There had been “inadequate and superficial reasoning and, in a number of instances, a wrong conclusion”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/9128147/MMR-doctor-wins-battle-against-being-struck-off.html

  7. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 12:22 #

    Julie, you’re half correct. I don’t have a child with Autism.
    I am autistic. And just for the record, I have an official diagnosis.

    [T]he fact that countless parents report that their kids fell ill, and BECAME completely disabled after vaccines, MMR, DTP, you name it.

    We hear these reports. What we do not hear is these supposed people coming forward to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Programme and making claims. That’s rather odd to me.

    My child would have flourished without it? Ask the mothers of 6, 7, 8 years old kids who were never able to speak, and ended up speaking after the detox.

    Autistic self advocate Jim Sinclair didn’t speak until he was 12. Autistic author Lucy Blackman is nonverbal. In the Omnibus Autism Proceedings, Patricia Rodier showed that Mercury Poisoning and Autism are vastly different.
    I stand by what I said. Autism is developmental delay, NOT developmental stasis. Your child would likely have flourished without the CEASE Therapy.

  8. Julie May 11, 2012 at 12:22 #

    The people who are still debating if the accumulation of toxic substances like vaccines and antibiotics can cause autism are definitely NOT interested in helping parents if autistic children.

    Denying that countless cases of children becoming autistic after some sort of triggering substance – that could actually be any vaccine or antibiotic – is simply a disservice.

    It may not be proven scientifically, but is a reality. Indeniable. Because only the parents are the real witnesses of this phenomena.

    The National Autism Association don’t even waste their time anymore discussing it: everyone knows that environmental factors play the most significant role.

    http://nationalautismassociation.org/about-autism/causes-of-autism/

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 17:39 #

      “The people who are still debating if the accumulation of toxic substances like vaccines and antibiotics can cause autism are definitely NOT interested in helping parents if autistic children.”

      Do you even see the irony of your own statement? Seriously, read that from the point of view of a person who has seen millions of dollars in research funding, many millions of dollars in “therapies” thrown at a bad model of what autism is.

      Also, I note that you are interested in “helping *parents* if [sic] autistic children”. Perhaps you might want to see that while we parents have the need for support, the primary focus should be on autisics. While we are at it, note that I said “autistics” not “autistic children”. All autistics, not just children, should be the focus.

  9. Science Mom May 11, 2012 at 12:27 #

    Julie, your child was born with autism. You are not “curing” him and you are treating him as damaged goods. This is your child, not an appliance. And stop spamming with your cease nonsense; it’s repulsive.

  10. Julie May 11, 2012 at 12:29 #

    @Julian Frost

    Homeopathy and CEASE therapy are VERY cheap and very easy. And have proven in practice to be effective. Homeopaths appointments in the UK cost 50 pounds. The remedies are free.

    Is homeopathy placebo? You will only know when you try it.

    And there is no harm in trying. So what stops anyone from trying it?

    I wish you did and many other parents reading this.

    Kind regards,
    Julie

  11. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 12:30 #

    @Julie:

    Well, the British courts have just reversed the condemnation of Dr. Walker-Smith by the GMC. Dr Wakefield was the paper’s chief author and Prof Walker-Smith the then head of the department of paediatric gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital in north London, where the research was carried out.

    So why didn’t Wakefield mount an appeal? And you missed one thing. Walker-Smith threw Wakefield under a bus. His appeal was basically that he was unaware that Wakefield was conducting research. Walker-Smith’s successful appeal doesn’t exonerate Wakefield. Quite the opposite, in fact.
    As to your latest comment, vaccines have been investigated as a cause of Autism.
    Repeatedly.
    There isn’t a link.

  12. Julie May 11, 2012 at 12:36 #

    @ScienceMom

    “Julie, your child was born with autism. You are not “curing” him and you are treating him as damaged goods. This is your child, not an appliance. And stop spamming with your cease nonsense; it’s repulsive.”

    No, he was born with deficiency in gluthatione, which causes him to be unable to properly excrete heavy metals.

    He was not born with autism. No one knows what autism is. The DSM IV provides a list of symptoms that vary tremendously from child to child. Conventional medicine has no idea what causes it, let alone if it’s genetic, it was never proved.

    Autistic symptoms are caused by environmental factors.

    Calling CEASE nonsense is a disservice to parents of autistic children. Sorry, you don’t know anything about it, it’s hard for you to give an opinion.

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 17:35 #

      If no one knows what autism is, why are you saying it is heavy metal poisoning? Apparently no one but *you* knows what it is.

  13. Julie May 11, 2012 at 12:45 #

    @Julian Frost

    Dr Wakefield joins Galileo, Copernicus, Semmelweiss, William McBride, William Harvey, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who were all threatened, villified and persecuted for daring to question established medical treatment protocols – and possibly being right.

    How sad that an academice gastroenterologist tipped to reach the very top of his profession should become a pariah for actually listening to his patients, when doing so threatened pharmaceutical profit.

    The key finding of his researches have now been replicated in five different countries.

    Dr. Wakefield is a hero. People are afraid of the truth. Anyone who honestly believes that injecting poison, heavy metals, live viruses, aborted fetal tissue, monkey fat, antibiotics, etc. into the body is safe and good for you is obviously not educated.

    These are the same people that believe something just because the government or the mainstream meadia say it is so. I’m very sad for these people and their ignorance.

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 18:00 #

      “Dr Wakefield joins Galileo, Copernicus, Semmelweiss, ….”

      Andrew Wakefield joins people like Jan Hendrik Schön.

      “The key finding of his researches have now been replicated in five different countries.”

      Please, tell us what that key finding is? That some autistics have GI complaints?

      “These are the same people that believe something just because the government or the mainstream meadia say it is so. I’m very sad for these people and their ignorance.”

      Ah, you are a mind reader? You know *why* people disagree with supporters of Andrew Wakefield. It’s because the government and/or mainstream media say so. And not only are you a mind reader, you are superior to those with whom you disagree. You are “sad for their ignorance”.

      How about a discussion of facts rather than your opinions and insults?

  14. Julian Frost May 11, 2012 at 13:22 #

    @Julie:

    Homeopathy and CEASE therapy are VERY cheap and very easy. And have proven in practice to be effective.

    False. Every sound trial of homeopathy found no difference between homeopathy and placebo. Homeopathy does nothing.

    Is homeopathy placebo? You will only know when you try it.

    And there is no harm in trying. So what stops anyone from trying it?

    Actually, there is harm in trying. Especially if the person using homeopathy delays going to a doctor. Also, I don’t need to try homeopathy to know it’s placebo. There’s hard evidence that it is.

  15. Julie May 11, 2012 at 13:29 #

    Well, without trying you will never know for sure.
    Try it, and tell us later.

    I rest my case.

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 17:34 #

      Julie,

      I’m pretty sure that scourging my child with fire to drive out demons will not have a beneficial effect. I can come to this conclusion without trying it.

      You rest your very weak case.

      Actually, I use homeopathy every day. I drink water. Everyone in my family drinks water.

  16. Science Mom May 11, 2012 at 15:22 #

    No, he was born with deficiency in gluthatione, which causes him to be unable to properly excrete heavy metals.

    A bogus DAN! diagnosis to be certain. Actual Glutathione Synthetase deficiency is an autosomal recessive inheritance mutation and exceedingly rare. Your child would be exhibiting other symptoms.

    He was not born with autism. No one knows what autism is. The DSM IV provides a list of symptoms that vary tremendously from child to child. Conventional medicine has no idea what causes it, let alone if it’s genetic, it was never proved.

    Yes, he was born with it; just because you have trouble accepting that fact, doesn’t mean you get to pull some stupid idea from your nether-regions. You may not know what autism is, and clearly you don’t but that doesn’t mean that others don’t. Aetiology doesn’t have to be known in order to know that a disorder is present and genetic causes of autism have been identified such as Rett Syndrome, Fragile X and Tuberous Sclerosis among others. And proved.

    Autistic symptoms are caused by environmental factors.

    Environmental factors =/= vaccines or whatever you have decided upon. Actual research indicates that de novo mutations and in utero enviromental factors may be causal for autism. Which makes much more sense as that is what determines foetal neurological development.

    Calling CEASE nonsense is a disservice to parents of autistic children. Sorry, you don’t know anything about it, it’s hard for you to give an opinion.

    No, using magical water in lieu of real therapies for your child and treating him like a test subject instead of a human being is what is a disservice to parents and autists alike. People like you dehumanise autistic children and it’s gross. If you want to believe in magic water, go ahead but don’t foist your woo bullshit on your child or anyone else.

  17. Chris May 11, 2012 at 16:57 #

    Julie, do you deny posting the same link to several threads on this website? That is known as “spamming.” Here is a website that shows how homeopathy works: http://www.howdoeshomeopathywork.com/

    Wakefield is still a fraud. And yes I have a child with multiple health issues, one exacerbated by getting a now vaccine preventable illness. Oh, and he did not talk until he was four years old, and he still has issues with his speech almost twenty years later.

  18. Chris May 11, 2012 at 18:24 #

    The “finding of his research in five different countries” claim is actually not true. As noted in this blog article: Still no independent confirmation of Wakefield’s claims.

  19. Julie Anderton May 11, 2012 at 21:45 #

    @Chris @Sullivan

    You are right. Wakefield is a fraud. You won this discussion.
    And?
    I don’t consider my messages spam, I wrote because I’m absolutely astonished that an autism website doesn’t even mention the CEASE therapy after so many cases of improvement were achieved with autistic children.
    And the key role that homeopathy played in the cure of autistic children. I was trying to make people aware of it.

    The evidence, IN PRACTICE, is out there:
    http://www.recoveredfromautism.com
    http://www.impossiblecure.com

    http://alexautismoysurecuperacion.wordpress.com/

    http://www.thelight-stephanie.blogspot.co.uk/

    http://ilovequeenanneslace.com/

    Real accounts.

    If after reading this, you are a parent of an autistic child and you dont think of giving it a go, I can only be sorry for your child and the OPPORTUNITY that they will miss. Because of their skeptical parent.

    All the best,
    Julie

    • Sullivan May 11, 2012 at 22:02 #

      Julie Anderton,

      is this a game to be won? I’d prefer a reasoned discussion.

      As to the question of spam: your messages were not contributing to the discussions at hand. Placing the identical message touting some therapy in a number of threads *is* spam.

      As to anecdotes–I’ve read enough “real accounts” which turned out to be much less than they were presented. Basing medical decisions on science and reproducible evidence rather than reports on blogs seems prudent to me. Paying someone money for water because they have a website seems less prudent.

      As I’ve said many times, my child *is* given the opportunity to partake of homeopathy every day. Every cup of water is the same as a homeopathic “cure”. I guess you could say that without homeopathy we would all be worse off. Dead from thirst.

      I wish you well. Moreover, I wish your child well.

  20. Chris May 11, 2012 at 22:12 #

    Amy Lansky son was never officially diagnosed with autism. There is no reason to think she cured him of something he many never had had. Another reason why the plural of anecdote is not data.

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