Autism in Poland in comparison to other countries
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Nursing Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Public Health Department, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland
Elżbieta Kostyra   

Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Oczapowskiego 1A/319, 10-719 Olsztyn, Poland. Tel.: +48 89 523 39 38; fax: +48 89 535 20 15.
Submission date: 2015-01-16
Acceptance date: 2015-03-18
Online publication date: 2015-04-22
Publication date: 2020-03-24
Pol. Ann. Med. 2015;22(1):35–40
In recent years, it has been suggested that the increasing incidence of autism diagnosed in Poland highlights improved diagnostics as well as the recorded increase in morbidity. The precise number of individuals with autism in Poland has not been determined, and current sources are unable to provide unequivocal Polish data.

The aim of this study is to compare the epidemiology of autism-related disorders in Poland with other European countries and the United States.

Material and methods:
Statistical data provided by the Polish National Health Fund Headquarters in June 2013 and data pooled from international journal articles were analyzed in detail.

Results and discussion:
The National Health Fund reported that 13 261 individuals up to 18 years of age received health services for autism and related disorders in Poland in 2012. This is a prevalence rate of 3.4 cases per 10 000 individuals. Incidence rates vary in different Polish regions, with the highest rates recorded in the following voivodships: warmińsko-mazurskie (6.5 cases per 10 000 individuals), śląskie (5.0), and pomorskie (4.6). The provinces with lowest rates were podlaskie (2.1), małopolskie (1.9), zachodniopomorskie (1.9), and łódzkie (1.8). These rates are far lower than those in European countries (20 per 10 000) and United States (200 per 10 000) epidemiological surveys.

Information on the prevalence of autism in Poland and in the world remains unclear and imprecise. This results from global differences in diagnostic criteria. There is urgent need to develop global standards for the diagnosis of autism in children.

None declared.
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