Healthcare Roundup—About 1 in 40 kids has autism spectrum disorder; Dayton, Ohio, cuts opioid deaths

Young child playing
A Health Resources and Services Administration-led study found that about 1.5 million U.S. children—or about 2.5% of American kids—has autism spectrum disorder. (HHS)

Study: 1 in 40 children in U.S. has autism spectrum disorder 

A Health Resources and Services Administration-led study found that about 1.5 million U.S. children—or about 2.5% of American kids—has autism spectrum disorder.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the study used data collected from parents of more than 50,000 children from the 2016 HRSA National Survey of Children's Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Harvard University, Drexel University and George Washington University contributed to the study.

Research has shown autism diagnoses have increased in children over the past two decades. Experts caution that while this figure is higher than a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released earlier this year estimating 1.7 % kids have the disorder, the difference in these two particular estimates more likely reflects differences in how the data was collected rather than an increase. (Release) (CNN

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Dayton, Ohio's opioid death rate falls drastically

Dayton, Ohio, had one of the highest opioid overdose death rates in 2017, but has shown signs it might actually leading a turnaround, the New York Times reported.

While it's too soon to tell, the Times headed to the manufacturing town to check out what is going on there. Officials there pointed to factors such as Medicaid expansion increasing access to treatment, expanded access to the overdose antidote Naloxone and the reduction in the use of Carfentanil, which is a toxic fentanyl analog. (New York Times)

FDA plans ‘generational’ overhaul of medical device approvals to make way for new technology

Boston Children's Hospital develops new way to test vaccines

Boston Children's Hospital researchers developed a system to test human immune responses to vaccines outside the body. 

In a study published in Frontiers in Immunology, the Boston Children's Precision Vaccines program lead authors said they were able to use a three-dimensional human tissue culture construct to reproduce immune responses of different populations and ages in a laboratory. That platform is expected to be cost effective and accelerate and de-risk vaccine development, officials said. (Release