Scarcity of Research on Autism in Children in Asia
Keywords:Autism spectrum disorders, Autism, Asia, Prevalence, Oman, Qatar, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Korea
Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) constitutes a diverse group of conditions related to the development of the brain. It is uncertain how prevalent ASD is in various Asian nations. The goal of our study is to evaluate the breadth of the problem as well as the lack of understanding regarding ASD in Asia. Methodology: We looked for, gathered, and assessed literature that reported the prevalence of ASD in eight Asian nations between 2019 and September 2022. The search was carried out in accordance with PRISMA standards. Results: We identified nine articles from Oman, Qatar, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, and Korea that met our predefined inclusion criteria. The reported prevalence of ASD in Asia ranged from 0.29% in China t.14% in Qatar to 3.22% in Japan. Prevalence varied substantially across different geographic areas in Israel. The prevalence of ASD in two cities of Saudi Arabia was 2.81 per 1,000 children while in India 2.25 per thousand and 20.35 per 10,000 children in Oman. In Korea, the prevalence was found to be 5.2 per 1,000 births and 9.4 per 1,000 births in 2002 and 2012 respectively. Study sample sizes ranged from 1023 in Saudi Arabia to 1,786,194 in Israel. The targeted age range was 2 and 12 years. No studies were found that reported the prevalence of ASD in other Asian countries. Due to methodological heterogeneity, the review was descriptive, and the data retrieved from the selected studies were summarized but not statistically merged, in accordance with PRISMA. Conclusion: This research will contribute to the evidence found that will be utilized to plan future research and make policy decisions in this region. Knowing the prevalence of ASD in Asia is essential for allocating resources and services appropriately.