Differences in the frequency of several somatic conditions have been tentatively reported between the diagnostic sub-groups of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Retrospective cross-sectional analysis of a database was used to test these preliminary findings. A sample of 1189 children diagnosed with autism (n = 267), Asperger syndrome (n = 210) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (n = 712) were included for study. Parental reporting of PDD sub-groups provided a number of significant (P < 0.01) differentiating developmental and behavioral items concomitant with diagnostic guidelines and anticipated level of functioning per grouping. Significant somatic discriminators previously reported between the sub-groups were corroborated; most notably a reported history of the bacterial skin infection impetigo. The majority of the somatic items identified were specifically related to a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.
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