People with Autism Face Increasing Risks of Chronic Physical Health Conditions

October 02, 2023

Conditions Occur Across All Organ Systems, Including the Brain, Gastrointestinal Tract and Endocrine System

A study led by researchers at the University of Cambridge has found that individuals with autism have higher rates of chronic physical health conditions and are more likely to have complex health needs than previously thought. The study, published in the journal Molecular Autism, assessed the risk of 60 physical health conditions across nine different organ systems and determined that people on the spectrum were more likely than those without the disorder to experience physical health multimorbidity, meaning they have at least two or more physical health conditions. Specifically, the authors discovered that people with autism are more likely to have physical health conditions across all organ systems, including the brain (e.g., migraine headaches), the gastrointestinal system (e.g., celiac disease), and the endocrine system (e.g., endometriosis). This study calls for the urgent re-evaluation of current healthcare systems to improve support for people on the spectrum. Last year, the same research team found that adults with autism experience poorer health and substandard healthcare compared to neurotypical adults. 

Original Article

Original Study

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