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Study Shows Increase in Childhood Developmental Problems

Comstock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- It seems that doctors are finding autism to be more and more common.  Now a new government study further explores the trend, which includes other developmental problems.

Autism and other childhood development difficulties have increased 17 percent in the last 10 years, according to the findings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on data from children age 3 to 17, the authors found a rise in those with autism, attentional deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cerebral palsy, mental retardation and seizures.

Autism had the biggest increase, rising four-fold between 2006 and 2008.

But ADHD rose 33 percent, the biggest reason behind the higher incidence of developmental problems. Boys had a higher prevalence than girls.

The experts say the increase may be due to more pre-term births and parents having kids at later ages.

These findings are published in Pediatrics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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