Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 46, Issue 8, pp 2756–2763 | Cite as

Epidemiology of Injury-Related Emergency Department Visits in the US Among Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Luther G. Kalb
  • Roma A Vasa
  • Elizabeth D. Ballard
  • Steven Woods
  • Mitchell Goldstein
  • Holly C. Wilcox
Original Paper


Several reports suggest children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to be seen for injury-related ED visits; however, no nationally representative study has examined this question. Using data from the 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, over a quarter of all visits among those with ASD were related to injury. In the multivariate analyses, the odds of an injury-related visit was 54 % greater among those with ASD compared to youth with intellectual disability (ID), but 48 % less compared to youth without ID or ASD. Compared to all other pediatric injury-visits in the US, visits among children with ASD were more likely to be due to self-inflicted injury and poisoning and were more likely to result in hospitalization (all p < 0.001).


Autistic disorder Injury Epidemiology Intellectual disability Emergency medicine 


Author Contributions

LK, RV, and HW conceived of the study and participated in the design; LK, RV, HW, EB, RW, and MG particpated in interpretation of the data and coordination of the study; LK performed the statistical analysis; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luther G. Kalb
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roma A Vasa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Elizabeth D. Ballard
    • 4
  • Steven Woods
    • 3
  • Mitchell Goldstein
    • 5
  • Holly C. Wilcox
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Autism and Related DisordersKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology BranchNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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