risk of death in Autism patients

Increased risk of death in Autism patients has been observed in individuals with ASD who are also afflicted with intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.

 

Increased risk of death in Autism patients has been observed in individuals with ASD who are also afflicted with intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.

To look at the risk of death in Autism patients, and examine the long term effects of psychiatric and neurological comorbidities (experiencing two or more chronic illnesses at once) among individuals with ASD, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark prospectively followed a Danish cohort of individuals with ASD into young adulthood.

Researchers noted a 4.1-fold increased risk of death resulting from neurologic causes among persons with ASD and an alarming 4.6-fold increased risk of death from intentional self-harm among individuals with ASD. The researchers also indicated a statistically insignificant increase of 40% in mortality with the cause being accidents in individuals with ASD. Overall, the researchers observed a significant 2-fold increased risk of mortality in individuals with ASD in comparison to those without ASD.

This study indicates an elevated risk of mortality in young adults with ASD. Importantly, these research findings highlight the importance of communication between healthcare professionals, family, and ASD-afflicted individuals about the connection between various psychiatric and neurological comorbidities and increased mortality risks, especially self-harm.

Citation: Schendel, D. E., Overgaard, M., Christensen, J., Hjort, L., Jørgensen, M., Vestergaard, M., & Parner, E. T. (2016). Association of Psychiatric and Neurologic Comorbidity with Mortality among Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Danish Population. JAMA pediatrics, 1-8.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Melissa Booker

 

 

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