Utah Logs High Autism Rate But It's Unclear Why

May 20, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - State health officials are reiterating there's no easy explanation for what some studies cite as an elevated autism rate in Utah.

A springtime report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ranks Utah second for autism in a study of 8-year-olds in about a dozen states.

New Jersey outranked Utah in the study finding that 1 in 68 U.S. children have the disorder.

Amanda Bakian, director of the Utah Registry of Autism and Development Disabilities, says state researchers considered health and school records in Salt Lake, Davis and Tooele counties.

Health officials in recent years have said cultural and medical trends could help explain more frequent diagnoses. 

Boys and children in urban areas are more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Its cause or causes are still unknown.