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Mortality in autism: a prospective longitudinal community-based study.

Journal article
Authors Christopher Gillberg
Eva Billstedt
Valter Sundh
I Carina Gillberg
Published in Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume 40
Issue 3
Pages 352-357
ISSN 0162-3257
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 352-357
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-009-0883-...
Keywords Accidents, Mortality, Adolescent, Adult, Autistic Disorder, Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Mortality, Cause of Death, Chi-Square Distribution, Child, Epilepsy, Mortality, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Intellectual Disability, Mortality, Male, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Sweden, Epidemiology, Time Factors, Young Adult
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry

Abstract

The purposes of the present study were to establish the mortality rate in a representative group of individuals (n = 120) born in the years 1962-1984, diagnosed with autism/atypical autism in childhood and followed up at young adult age (>/=18 years of age), and examine the risk factors and causes of death. The study group, which constituted a total population sample of children with these diagnoses, were followed up in Swedish registers. Nine (7.5%) of the 120 individuals with autism had died at the time of follow-up, a rate 5.6 times higher than expected. The mortality rate was significantly higher among the females. Associated medical disorders (including epilepsy with cognitive impairment) and accidents accounted for most of the deaths, and it was not possible to determine whether autism "per se" actually carries an increased mortality risk.

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