This study aims to estimate the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in 2017 and the ASD diagnosis incidence between 2009 and 2017 in children living in Catalonia region in Spain, and their temporal and geographical variability. We used administrative data for all children aged 2–17 years who were insured in the public Catalan Health System between 2009 and 2017. We identified all ASD cases diagnosed between 2009 and 2017 (ICD‐9 codes 299.0, 299.1, 299.8, and 299.9). We estimated the ASD prevalence in 2017 and the overall annual incidence between 2009 and 2017, then stratified by sex, age group, and healthcare area. We used Poisson regression models to assess temporal trends in the incidence and mixed‐effects Poisson regression models to assess geographical variability. We observed an ASD prevalence of 1.23% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21–1.25) in 2017, with 1.95% (95% CI 1.92–1.99) for boys and 0.46% (95% CI 0.44–0.48) for girls, the highest prevalence being in 11‐ to 17‐year‐olds (1.80%, 95% CI 1.76–1.83). The ASD diagnosis incidence increased from 0.07% (95% CI 0.06–0.09) in 2009 to 0.23% (95% CI 0.21–0.24) in 2017, with a higher increase in girls, and in children aged 2–5 years at the time of diagnosis. We only observed geographical differences in prevalence in the 2017 data. We also detected a threefold increase in the diagnosis incidence overall, which was even more pronounced in girls and at early ages. In conclusion, the ASD prevalence observed in this study was 1.23% in 2017, with a sex ratio of 4.5 in favor of boys, which is consistent with previous studies,
Autism Research
Pediatric Psychiatry

Perez-Crespo, L., Prats-Uribe, A., Tobias, A., Duran-Tauleria, E., Coronado, R., Hervas, A., & Guxens Junyent, M. (2019). Temporal and Geographical Variability of Prevalence and Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses in Children in Catalonia, Spain. Autism Research. doi:10.1002/aur.2172