An Autism or ADHD Diagnosis Comes with a Higher Risk of Mortality

February 21, 2022

All Cause Mortality Was More Than Double in Those with ASD or ADHD 

New research has discovered that those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher risk of mortality. This new systematic review and meta-analysis included 27 observational studies with a total of 642,260 individuals. Studies included in the research took place from 1988 to 2021. The review investigated mortality rate ratios for people with ASD or ADHD compared to the general population or a population without either disorder. In total, 14 studies on ASD and 12 studies on ADHD were included. Results demonstrated that all-cause mortality was more than doubled in individuals with ASD (rate ratio [RR] 2.37, 95% CI 1.97-2.85, I2 89%) and in those with ADHD (RR 2.13, 95% CI 1.13-4.02, I2 98%).  Females on the spectrum had higher mortality rates (RR 4.87, 95% CI 3.07-7.73, I291%) than males (RR 2.09, 95% CI 1.50-2.92, I2 94%). No sex discrepancies were found in those with ADHD. Both deaths from natural causes and unnatural causes were increased for people with autism. For those with ADHD, deaths from natural causes were not significantly increased. However, deaths from unnatural causes were higher than anticipated. The lead author and colleagues concluded that, “Understanding the mechanisms of these associations may lead to targeted strategies to prevent avoidable deaths in high-risk groups of children and young people as an approach to improve public health.” The team ultimately recommended that healthcare professionals regularly collect data on health outcomes related to ASD and ADHD.  


Original Article 

Original Study 

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