A recent study has proven that people who suffer from autism can die eighteen years earlier than the ones without it. In this respect, a charity from the United Kingdom is raising awareness into funding further research on the optimal treatment of autism.
The U.K.’s National Health Service reviewed premature deaths among autistic people and has thus proved that people suffering from the condition can die decades earlier than average people. The research involved data from a large epidemiological study and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and has reached the conclusion that autistic persons die eighteen years younger, usually by committing suicide. Furthermore, those with the condition who are also intellectually disabled can die thirty years earlier, and their deaths are mostly caused by epilepsy.
The study was funded by Autistica, an autism research charity which claims that the study bluntly shows the clear situation of autism mortality. At the moment, the U.K. charity hopes to raise ten million pounds ($14 million) to research further the disease.
Jon Spiers, chief executive at Autistica, has stated that the outcomes’ inequality is truly shameful. Such a situation is unfathomable and must be corrected, and everyone should step up for these people who do not even get to witness their fortieth birthday. Spiers referred to individual care providers, institutions and organizations and the government.
The results confirm previous small international studies, but no specific research has been conducted in finding the best treatment for suicidal behaviors and epilepsy among autistic people. According to study author Dr. Tatja Hirvikoski, the team looked into the records of about 27,000 adults suffering from autism.
Unfortunately, it appears that autistic adults who have learning problems are forty percent more likely to die prematurely from neurological conditions. People who have been spared from learning disabilities are still nine times likely to commit suicide. Women seem to be the most at risk.
“Neurotribes” book author Steve Silberman who has documented autism history, has also expressed his opinion on the study:
“[This is] dramatic proof that bullying, lack of support, inadequate health care across the lifespan, insufficient allocation of resources to create options for housing and employment, and a failure to aggressively pursue research into better treatments for chronic anxiety and seizures come at a terrible cost.”
In the United Kingdom, about one percent of the whole population suffers from the disorder, which is about 700,000 people. The situation needs to be urgently addressed since the support costs for these people reaches £32 billion (or $46 billion) each year.
Image Source: sheknows