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Autism in the Faroe Islands: an epidemiological study.

Journal article
Authors Åsa Ellefsen
Hanna Kampmann
Eva Billstedt
I Carina Gillberg
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume 37
Issue 3
Pages 437-444
ISSN 0162-3257
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 437-444
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Asperger Syndrome, Epidemiology, Atlantic Islands, Epidemiology, Autistic Disorder, Epidemiology, Genetics, Child, Denmark, Epidemiology, Female, Humans, Male, Prevalence
Subject categories Psychiatry


The Faroe Islands are considered to be a genetic isolate. This population study of the prevalence of autism sought to identify a representative cohort for future genetic studies. In 2002 all schools were screened for autism spectrum disorders. The target population were all children born in 1985 through 1994 and living in the Faroe Islands on December 31, 2002. Children who screened positive for autism characteristics were examined using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). Of the children aged 8 through 17 years, 0.56% had childhood autism, Asperger syndrome or atypical autism. The male:female ratio was just under 6:1. The prevalence of autism in the Faroe Islands was very similar to that reported from many western countries.

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