- Elucidating the heterogeneous etiologies of autism will require investment in comprehensive longitudinal data acquisition from large community based cohorts. With this in mind, we have established a hospital-university-based (HUB) database of autism which incorporates prospective and retrospective data from a large and ethnically diverse population. Here we present initial findings from 188 children who were diagnosed with autism during the first eighteen months of the study. The unique characteristics of this cohort included: significant differences between Bedouin and Jewish children in different risk factors and clinical characteristics; complete birth records for> 90% of the children; and a high frequency of consanguineous marriages. Thus, the Negev HUB autism database comprises a remarkably unique resource to study different aspects of autism.