General health of adults with autism spectrum disorders - a whole country population cross-sectional study

Rydzewska, E. , Hughes-Mccormack, L. A., Gillberg, C. , Henderson, A. , MacIntyre, C., Rintoul, J. and Cooper, S.-A. (2019) General health of adults with autism spectrum disorders - a whole country population cross-sectional study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 60, pp. 59-66. (doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2019.01.004)

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Background: General health status in adult populations with autism spectrum disorders has been little studied. We aimed to investigate general health status and predictors of poor health in adults with autism spectrum disorders compared with other adults. Method: Whole country data were drawn from Scotland’s Census, 2011. We calculated and compared the frequencies of health status in adults with and without autism spectrum disorders. We then used logistic regressions to calculate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of autism predicting poor general health in the whole population, adjusted for age and gender, and OR (95% CI) of age and gender predicting poor general health within the autism spectrum disorders population. Results: Autism spectrum disorders were reported for 6649/3,746,584 (0.2%) adults aged 25+years, of whom 46.8% (N = 3111) had poor general health, compared with 23.7% (N = 887,878) of other people. Poor health was common across the entire lifecourse for adults with autism spectrum disorders. Autism had OR = 5.1 (4.9–5.4, 95% CI) for predicting poor general health, or OR = 7.5 (6.9–8.2, 95% CI) when the interaction with age was included. Poorer health was more common at older age, and for women. Conclusions: Poor general health merits attention across the full lifecourse for adults with autism. Health practitioners need to be alert to the burden of potential health problems to seek them out to be addressed, and so the health agenda can turn towards potential mechanisms for prevention and better support for adults who may call upon services for people with autism.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:We would like to thank the Scottish Government for funding and supporting this project.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hughes-Mccormack, Mrs Laura and Rydzewska, Dr Ewelina and Henderson, Mrs Angela and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Rydzewska, E., Hughes-Mccormack, L. A., Gillberg, C., Henderson, A., MacIntyre, C., Rintoul, J., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
ISSN (Online):1750-9467
Published Online:30 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 60: 59-66
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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