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Autism Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 405849, 10 pages
Research Article

Parent Report of Community Psychiatric Comorbid Diagnoses in Autism Spectrum Disorders

1Department of Medical Informatics, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Painter Building, First Floor, 3825 Greenspring Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211, USA
2Center of Genetic Disorders of Cognition and Behavior, Kennedy Krieger Institute , 716 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
3The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA

Received 3 February 2011; Accepted 8 June 2011

Academic Editor: M. Aman

Copyright © 2011 Rebecca E. Rosenberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We used a national online registry to examine variation in cumulative prevalence of community diagnosis of psychiatric comorbidity in 4343 children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Adjusted multivariate logistic regression models compared influence of individual, family, and geographic factors on cumulative prevalence of parent-reported anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder. Adjusted odds of community-assigned lifetime psychiatric comorbidity were significantly higher with each additional year of life, with increasing autism severity, and with Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified compared with autistic disorder. Overall, in this largest study of parent-reported community diagnoses of psychiatric comorbidity, gender, autistic regression, autism severity, and type of ASD all emerged as significant factors correlating with cumulative prevalence. These findings could suggest both underlying trends in actual comorbidity as well as variation in community interpretation and application of comorbid diagnoses in ASD.