Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1196–1204 | Cite as

Excess Mortality and Causes of Death in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow up of the 1980s Utah/UCLA Autism Epidemiologic Study

  • Deborah Bilder
  • Elizabeth L. Botts
  • Ken R. Smith
  • Richard Pimentel
  • Megan Farley
  • Joseph Viskochil
  • William M. McMahon
  • Heidi Block
  • Edward Ritvo
  • Riva-Ariella Ritvo
  • Hilary Coon
Article

Abstract

This study’s purpose was to investigate mortality among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) ascertained during a 1980s statewide autism prevalence study (n = 305) in relation to controls. Twenty-nine of these individuals (9.5 %) died by the time of follow up, representing a hazard rate ratio of 9.9 (95 % CI 5.7–17.2) in relation to population controls. Death certificates identified respiratory, cardiac, and epileptic events as the most common causes of death. The elevated mortality risk associated with ASD in the study cohort appeared related to the presence of comorbid medical conditions and intellectual disability rather than ASD itself suggesting the importance of coordinated medical care for this high risk sub-population of individuals with ASD.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorders Mortality Causes of death Epilepsy Intellectual disability 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Autism Speaks Grant #5955. We thank the Pedigree and Population Resource (funded by the Huntsman Cancer Foundation) for its role in the ongoing collection, maintenance, and support of the Utah Population Database (UPDB).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Bilder
    • 1
    • 8
  • Elizabeth L. Botts
    • 1
  • Ken R. Smith
    • 2
  • Richard Pimentel
    • 2
  • Megan Farley
    • 1
  • Joseph Viskochil
    • 3
  • William M. McMahon
    • 4
  • Heidi Block
    • 5
  • Edward Ritvo
    • 6
  • Riva-Ariella Ritvo
    • 7
  • Hilary Coon
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Utah Population Database, Population Sciences, Utah Huntsman Cancer InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and the Brain InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  6. 6.University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.Yale University School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  8. 8.Neurobehavior HOME ProgramSalt Lake CityUSA

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