Autistic people die on average 16 years early

The BBC today reports a Swedish study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, that suggests autistic people die on average 16 years early.

The research, carried out by the Karolinska Institute, found that those with autism and an associated learning disability, died more than 30 years early – with the average age of death being 39.

In this group of people, a leading cause of death was epilepsy. Scientists still cannot exactly explain the link between autism and epilepsy, which is partly why the charity [Autistica] wants to raise the money over the next five years to enable more research.

I hope the funds will indeed be found to support this and other research to help us understand autistic conditions better and make better provision for those who have them. Our own understanding is a start. Some fluorescent lights for instance are reported as being really stressful for those with autistic spectrum conditions – and older church property may well have older and flickery lights like these in it. But checking out with a random church colleague last night, all this was news to them. I’m no expert so do the research for yourself, but I suspect there are ways we can really help.

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One thought on “Autistic people die on average 16 years early

  1. Unusually high blood pressure due to the stress of living with the condition? And suicides of course. What about being generally a bit “out of it” and not accessing help? Lower levels of literacy/lower reading ages? Lower down the social scale as in not in high paid jobs etc, since that causes early death in those who are not autistic anyway? Just a few thoughts. Education is key. I have sat through a talk on the things that are signs of possession. Which all turned out to be signs of autism.

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