Report: Autism Rates Jumped 169% in a Decade

Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A new study by Maccabee Health Services claims that there was a 169% increase in the number of Israeli children suffering from forms of autism over the past decade. According to the study, one in 48 boys are on the “autism spectrum,” suffering from some form of the disease, while among girls, the number is one in 222.

Among boys, the increase in the past decade has been 177%, while among girls it has been 136%. In 2007 one in 210 of all children were on the autism spectrum, while in 2018 that figure was one in 78.

Maccabee said the increase was part of a worldwide trend. In recent years, the definition of autism has become stricter and more precise, and health officials expected the figures on autism diagnosis to begin falling, as there was a clearer definition of the problem. Officials said that if trends continue, the health system would be overwhelmed by the large number of potential patients.