A new study presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) on May 14, 2014 has revealed some sobering statistics about adults on the Autism Spectrum. According to the Associated Press, researchers at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California found that adults with autism were more likely to have the following conditions compared to their peers without autism:

  • Depression (38 percent vs. 17 percent)
  • Suicide attempts (1.6 percent vs. .3 percent)
  • High Blood Pressure (27 percent vs. 19 percent)
  • Cholesterol problems (26 percent vs. 18 percent)
  • Obesity (27 percent vs. 16 percent)

In contrast, adults with autism were less likely to smoke (16 percent vs. 30 percent) or drink alcohol (23 percent vs. 53 percent) compared to those who do not have autism.

Lisa Croen, lead author and director of the autism research program at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, says this study is one of the largest, most comprehensive efforts to examine the health of autistic adults and highlights a need for better strategies to treat them.

The details of this study were published by Laura Shumaker, writer at the San Francisco Gate. In her article about this study, Shumaker quoted Croen as saying, “Children with autism become adults with autism. Doctors caring for adults need to be aware that adults have autism and an adult with autism could be walking through their door.”