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Number of children with autism in Ho Chi Min City rises 160 times

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

As with other developing countries Vietnam is seeing a massive rise in autism.

 

 

 

Quote:
According to a study conducted by the Hanoi-based Central Pediatrics Hospital, the number of children with autism detected by the hospital in 2007 was 50 times more than in 2000, and the number of autistic children treated by the hospital in 2007 increased by 33 times from 2000, Yen said.

In HCMC, the number of autistic children increased from only two in 2000 to 324, or 160 times higher, in 2008. 

 


Read more: http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/society/number-of-children-with-autism-in-hcmc-rises-160-times-1.100124#ixzz2NQTAqFux

 

Of course they are using better recognition/diagnosis as the excuse. Really, you don't think these children would not have been recognized before, even if they didn't have a label for it?

 

WHO vaccine coverage for Vietnam 1980 to 2010

post #2 of 6

I think the "it's just better diagnosing" is a crock personally - but it sure is a convenient excuse to try an explain away this dramatic increase. 

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirzam View Post

As with other developing countries Vietnam is seeing a massive rise in autism.


Read more: http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/society/number-of-children-with-autism-in-hcmc-rises-160-times-1.100124#ixzz2NQTAqFux

 

Of course they are using better recognition/diagnosis as the excuse. Really, you don't think these children would not have been recognized before, even if they didn't have a label for it?

 

WHO vaccine coverage for Vietnam 1980 to 2010

 

From the WHO vaccine coverage link, it appears that coverage for most vaccines was over 90% (and higher for some) in the mid-90's.  They fluctuate up and down a bit, but some do go up a few percentage points overall over the next decade.  Are you saying that a rise in vaccination rates of a few percentage points is the main driving force behind autism rates rising not by a few percentage points but by a factor of 160?  How is that possible?  

 

Though it also appears that they may not have given HepB at birth prior to 1998 (or at least they didn't report a rate to the WHO for it prior to that), so that is a big change. HepB isn't given in my province until age 10 though, and we have plenty of autism, so I don't think the birth dose of HepB would cause such a drastic increase or we'd have less here.   It seems they also may have started giving vitamin A (or at least reporting the rate given) around the same time, however I have never heard of a link between vitamin A (which we don't give at birth here either) and autism, so I doubt that has anything to do with it.  

 

From the article:  

 

Quote:
However, it is possible that many children were already suffering from autism for a long time before they were diagnosed. Therefore, when numerous children were diagnosed in recent years, they created a situation in which the disorder's prevalence has apparently increased sharply.

Meanwhile, most pediatric doctors in Vietnam do not fully understand the condition and have no early diagnosis skills, leading to late detection, according to Yen.

Read more: http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/cmlink/tuoitrenews/society/number-of-children-with-autism-in-hcmc-rises-160-times-1.100124#ixzz2NREHYswt

 

For most of these children, people around them likely would have recognized that there was something different about that either by noticing they were just a little unusual to thinking there was something very wrong with them, depending on the degree.  But having people around the child notice is a bit different than having the child diagnosed and labelled and reported to be counted in official statistics. 

post #4 of 6

IMO- I would think there should be some very good data to observe if there is a real increase here or not, since the war, many children were adopted out of country and many were put into orphanages, one would think there should be some data to compare here

 

 

 

Quote:
I think the "it's just better diagnosing" is a crock personally - but it sure is a convenient excuse to try an explain away this dramatic increase. 

sure does make it easy!

post #5 of 6

I'm never sure about reports like this... any number of things can cause a huge spike in reports of autism. I think in Vietnam a lot of it may have to do with culture, resources, availability, cost, etc. The Vietnamese government has only recently begun funding for autism education and schools for children with autism. I can imagine in a country where a lot of families can't afford to send their children to school anyway, they wouldn't see much point to spending money and having their children diagnosed with autism (if the resources were even available to them). 

post #6 of 6

I agree escaping.

 

It is too difficult to draw comparisons in developing countries.  We don't know enough about the culture and most important previous access to know how much of this is due to increased diagnosis.  I think much of it is given that so many are late diagnosis like the article maintains.

 

Further, if it isn't diagnosis and Vietnam is experiencing an influx in autism cases just as the United States are it is a big step to then say "its because of vaccines".  When it is tried to blame autism on vaccination rates in the US it is usually about number of doses, the above links in the OP seem to be about %coverage (which has been high throughout and actually in my opinion leads more evidence to a diagnosis and not to a vaccine related issue).

 

Also, what else has incresaed in Vietnam in this time period?  Cell phone coverage?  Wi Fi?  The number of microwaves?  The number of people participating in message boards?  Why focus only on vaccines?    My guess is that people do nto want to vaccinate but they do nto want to give up their internet or their iphone. I believe we are doing a disservice by not looking at other things that are also changing and may be playing a role.  I have said it before, I wish autism were caused by vaccines, because if it were it could easily be curtailed.  But it just isn't that simple and continuing to try to "prove" it through correlation (which is not causation) doesn't change it. 

 

Incidently, just to show you how easy it is to link things to the autism epidemic.  I took the rate of autsim for 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000 from the CDC and correlated it against the percentage of babies breastfed in the hospital in those years and the number of babies exclusively breastfed at 6 months (available at kellymom).  The result was their is a .961 pearsons R for hospital  breastfeeding iniation and a .957 Pearson's R for exclusive at 6 months.  Both are significant at less than .01 level.  Now obviously this is a missue of statistics and I will continue breastfeeding.  Just as it is a misuse of statistics to look at vaccination coverage and autism rates so I will continue to vaccinate as well.  You can't just look at two things that are both increasing and determine one is causing the other.

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