Autistic Adults More Likely to Suffer From Depression, High Blood Pressure, Obesity

A new study has revealed that autistic adults are the ones at much higher risk to suffer from depression, high blood pressure, obesity and additional health problems than those without the disorder. Social isolation because of the disease is one of the other factors responsible for increasing the chances of health woes. The only positive found by the study was lesser likelihood of taking up smoking and drinking alcohol in autistic people.

The study was intended to look into the health of autistic adults and highlighted a need for devising better strategies to treat them, said scientist Lisa Croen, the lead author and director of the autism research program at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

The researchers also found some health problems in autistic children, but it was not made clear if those problems continue troubling them in adulthood. The study found 38% autistic adults suffered from depression compared to 17%. Suicide attempts, on the other hand, were seen in 1.6% autistic adults compared to 0.3% not-autistic adults. Moreover, there were 27% cases of high blood pressure, 26% of cholesterol problems, 27% of obesity related problems and 23% cases of alcoholism among autistic adults compared to 19%, 18%, 16% and 53% among non-autistic adults, respectively.

"Some of these conditions we have examined in kids suffering from autism, so we expected higher rates of nervousness and misery and a portion of the medical issues, for example, gastrointestinal aggravations, in adults", said Croen. The findings of the study will be discussed at the International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta on Thursday.

The support and exploration association Autism Speaks has indicated that one in 68 American youngsters is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and it is the quickest-developing developmental disability in the US.