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Research News

People with autism die 16 years earlier on average, says charity

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 18 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1615
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

People with autism tend to die decades younger than the rest of the population, and more needs doing to understand the problem’s causes and to find potential solutions, says a new report from the charity Autistica.

Autistica’s report,1 drawing on recently published research in Sweden, said that people with autism die 16 years sooner on average than they otherwise would, and those whose autism is combined with intellectual disability die 30 years sooner.

Death comes earlier to autistic people, whatever the proximate cause. But epilepsy, which is diagnosed in 20-40% of autistic people, is a major cause of death, especially in those whose autism is severe and combined with learning difficulties. Among those who …

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