Umbrella systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on comorbid physical conditions in people with autism spectrum disorder

Rydzewska, E. , Dunn, K. and Cooper, S.-A. (2021) Umbrella systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on comorbid physical conditions in people with autism spectrum disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 218(1), pp. 10-19. (doi: 10.1192/bjp.2020.167) (PMID:33161922)

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Abstract

Background: Comorbid physical conditions may be more common in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than other people. Aims: To identify what is and what is not known about comorbid physical conditions in people with ASD. Method: We undertook an umbrella systematic review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses on comorbid physical conditions in people with ASD. Five databases were searched. There were strict inclusion/exclusion criteria. We undertook double reviewing for eligibility, systematic data extraction and quality assessment. Prospective PROSPERO registration: CRD42015020896. Results: In total, 24 of 5552 retrieved articles were included, 15 on children, 1 on adults, and 8 both on children and adults. Although the quality of included reviews was good, most reported several limitations in the studies they included and considerable heterogeneity. Comorbid physical conditions are common, and some are more prevalent than in the general population: sleep problems, epilepsy, sensory impairments, atopy, autoimmune disorders and obesity. Asthma is not. However, there are substantial gaps in the evidence base. Fewer studies have been undertaken on other conditions and some findings are inconsistent. Conclusions: Comorbid physical conditions occur more commonly in people with ASD, but the evidence base is slim and more research is needed. Some comorbidities compound care if clinicians are unaware, for example sensory impairments, given the communication needs of people with ASD. Others, such as obesity, can lead to an array of other conditions, disadvantages and early mortality. It is essential that potentially modifiable physical conditions are identified to ensure people with ASD achieve their best outcomes. Heightening clinicians’ awareness is important to aid in assessments and differential diagnoses, and to improve healthcare.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rydzewska, Dr Ewelina and Dunn, Mrs Kirsty and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann
Authors: Rydzewska, E., Dunn, K., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:British Journal of Psychiatry
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0007-1250
ISSN (Online):1472-1465
Published Online:09 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Journal of Psychiatry 218(1): 10-19
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
302957Mental Health Data PathfinderDaniel SmithMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_17217HW - Mental Health and Wellbeing