Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders in adults in the community in England.
ABSTRACT To our knowledge, there is no published information on the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in adults. If the prevalence of autism is increasing, rates in older adults would be expected to be lower than rates among younger adults.
To estimate the prevalence and characteristics of adults with ASD living in the community in England.
A stratified, multiphase random sample was used in the third national survey of psychiatric morbidity in adults in England in 2007. Survey data were weighted to take account of study design and nonresponse so that the results were representative of the household population.
General community (ie, private households) in England.
Adults (people 16 years or older).
Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Module 4 in phase 2 validated against the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders in phase 3. A 20-item subset of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient self-completion questionnaire was used in phase 1 to select respondents for phase 2. Respondents also provided information on sociodemographics and their use of mental health services.
Of 7461 adult participants who provided a complete phase 1 interview, 618 completed phase 2 diagnostic assessments. The weighted prevalence of ASD in adults was estimated to be 9.8 per 1000 (95% confidence interval, 3.0-16.5). Prevalence was not related to the respondent's age. Rates were higher in men, those without educational qualifications, and those living in rented social (government-financed) housing. There was no evidence of increased use of services for mental health problems.
Conducting epidemiologic research on ASD in adults is feasible. The prevalence of ASD in this population is similar to that found in children. The lack of an association with age is consistent with there having been no increase in prevalence and with its causes being temporally constant. Adults with ASD living in the community are socially disadvantaged and tend to be unrecognized.
Journal of Child and Family Studies 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10826-014-0041-2 · 1.42 Impact Factor
Kindheit und Entwicklung 01/2014; 23(1):52-60. DOI:10.1026/0942-5403/a000124 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) experience high rates of social and health disadvantage. Planning effective services that meet the needs of this vulnerable population requires good population-based data that are collected on a routine, ongoing basis. However, in most jurisdictions, none of the commonly available data (e.g., health or disability benefits administrative data) completely captures the IDD population. To more accurately identify persons with IDD in a population, one solution is to link data across multiple sources. To do this, the authors report on an effort to create a linked database to identify a cohort of adults, aged 18–64, with IDD in Ontario and use these data to examine how the linkage can help study health and healthcare access. The linked dataset was created using four health and one disability income support databases. Standardized differences were used to compare sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the IDD cohorts identified through the health, disability income support, and linked datasets. Indirect estimation was used to evaluate which IDD subgroups might be over- or underestimated if only a single source of data was available. The linked database identified a cohort of 66,484 adults with IDD (0.78% prevalence). The health and disability income support data each uniquely identified approximately a third of the cohort. Health data were more likely to identify younger adults (18–24 years), those with psychiatric illnesses, and hospitalized individuals. The disability income support data were more likely to identify adults aged 35–54 and those living in lower income neighborhoods. By linking multiple databases, the authors were able to identify a much larger cohort of individuals with IDD than if they had used a single data source. It also enabled the creation of a more accurate sociodemographic and clinical profile of this population as each source captured different segments of it.Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities 12/2014; 11(4). DOI:10.1111/jppi.12098 · 0.97 Impact Factor