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IVF Rate in Israel is 3.5%, not Autism Rate

July 3, 2010

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%)].”

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