Epidemiology of autism in adults across age groups and ability levels

Brugha, T. S., Spiers, N., Bankart, J., Cooper, S.-A. , Scott, F. J., Smith, J. and Tyrer, F. (2016) Epidemiology of autism in adults across age groups and ability levels. British Journal of Psychiatry, 209(6), pp. 498-503. (doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.115.174649) (PMID:27388569)

119659.pdf - Accepted Version



Background. The epidemiology of autism in adults has relied on untested projections using childhood research. Aims. To derive representative estimates of the prevalence of autism and key associations in adults of all ages and ability levels. Method. Comparable clinical diagnostic assessments of 7274 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey participants combined with a population case register survey of 290 adults with intellectual disability. Results. The combined prevalence of autism in adults of all ages in England was 11/1000 (95% CI 3- 19/1000). It was higher in those with moderate to profound intellectual disability (odds ratio 63.5; 95% CI 27.4-147.2). Male sex was a strong predictor of autism only in those with no or mild intellectual disability (adjusted OR=8.5; 95% CI 2.0-34.9; interaction with sex, p=0.03). Conclusions. Few adults with autism have intellectual disability; however, autism is more prevalent in this population. Autism measures may miss cases more in women. Declaration of interest. None.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Scott, Mrs Fiona and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann
Authors: Brugha, T. S., Spiers, N., Bankart, J., Cooper, S.-A., Scott, F. J., Smith, J., and Tyrer, F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:British Journal of Psychiatry
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN (Online):1472-1465
Published Online:07 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Royal College of Psychiatrists
First Published:First published in British Journal of Psychiatry 209(6):498-503
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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