7/02/2010

IVF Rate in Israel is 3.5%, not Autism Rate

Scientific Blogging has a post up, as does Science Daily, that just gets it wrong. Here's where it seems to have gone wrong: the original press release.

Glitches happen (like not being able to get a comment on to the Scientific Blogging post), and errors do, as well. To the best of us.

This one, though, needs to be fixed, and it's one that's gone out to places like Science Daily, as well. Here, on an article by the news staff, it's reported "According to her research at the Autism Center at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel, which Zachor directs, 10.5% of 461 children diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum were conceived using IVF, a significantly higher number than the 3.5% autism rate in the general Israeli population."


I tried to comment directly on the article several times, but it glitched each time.

Here is my comment:

You have it incorrect; the rate of IVF in the general poulation is 3.5%, not the rate of autism.

http://imfar.confex.com/imfar/2010/webprogram/Paper6471.html


"Results:
Of the 564 participants, 461 (81%) children, (M=39.8 months, SD=26.3) were diagnosed with ASD. IVF was present in 10.2% (47/438) which was significantly higher than the rate in the general Israeli population (3.5%) (χ2=73.5, p<0.001). Maternal age (M=32.6y, SD=4.8) in the IVF group was significantly higher than in the non-IVF group (M=30.8y, SD=5.6) [F(1,425)=4.9, p<.05, h2=.011]. Paternal ages in the two groups were not significantly different. There were no significant differences between the IVF and the non-IVF groups in mean age (months) at evaluation (M=43 vs 40), ADOS mean severity score (M=7.6, SD=1.7 vs 7.5, SD=2.1), mean Vineland composite scores (M=71.8, SD=11.2 vs M=71.9, SD=15.3), and history of regression [8/47 (17%) vs 99/381 (26%)]."

4 comments:

David said...

"the rate of IVF in the general poulation is 3.5%, not the rate of autism"
I'm not clear on what "IVF in general population" means: percent of births? In Israeli population?

A higher autism rate with in vitro fertilization would be unsurprising, given prior reports that older parents are a risk factor. But a higher autism rate among Israelis would be of more interest.

Elise said...

While we are talking about words here, another issue to be presented to those who write about autism in Israel, is that in general Israel is years behind the US in identifying and supporting autism in their society.When I taught hebrew school(jsut a few short years ago) we received a letter from one of the children's penpals could anyone help her brother who had aspergers because the school did not know what to do and neither did any of the doctors he went to, including the neurologists who teach at the medical school near by.Did anyone in America have any ideras how to teach her brother? I would suspect that the rate in Israel quite frankly is probably equal to the rate in the US.

Yet, they also have just opened the largest autism research facility in the world in Jerusalem. Next week is their first conference. My post about Social Justice discusses that at the end.

Science Mom said...

"the rate of IVF in the general poulation is 3.5%, not the rate of autism"
I'm not clear on what "IVF in general population" means: percent of births? In Israeli population?


David, this is a comparison of the IVF rate amongst the mothers of their autistic cohort (10.2%) as compared to the IVF rate of the general population (3.5%).

David said...

In that case, the way to put it is that an autistic child is about 350% more likely to have been conceived in vitro. Still not completely clear, but it sounds like these figures are specific to Israel.