Autism Spectrum Disorders Raise Depression Risk

by Diane Domina Senior Content Production Editor

Young adults with autism are more likely to have depression than those without autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a Swedish study published in JAMA Open Network. The research also suggests that people who have autism without intellectual disability are more likely to be depressed than those who have autism with intellectual disability.

This study involved 223,842 participants in the Stockholm Youth Cohort, 4,073 of whom were diagnosed with autism. About 3,000 of the study participants with autism were free of intellectual disability. The researchers obtained autism and depression diagnoses from medical records and then compared study participants to approximately 220,000 young adults without ASD, including full- and half-siblings of study participants with autism.

According to the researchers, young adults in the study who had been diagnosed with autism, with or without intellectual disability, were at 2.5-times higher risk for depression than their non-autistic siblings. In addition, when compared to the general population, full-siblings of young adults with ASD had a 37 percent higher risk for depression, and half-siblings had a 42 percent higher depression risk.

Sourced from: JAMA Open Network

Diane Domina
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Diane Domina

Diane works across brands at Remedy Health Media, producing digital content for its sites and newsletters. Prior to joining the team, she was the editorial director at HealthCommunities.