Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders in adults in the community in England
Authors: Brugha, Traolach S.
McManus, Sally
Bankart, John
Scott, Fiona
Purdon, Susan
Smith, Jane
Bebbington, Paul
Jenkins, Rachel
Meltzer, Howard
First Published: 2-May-2011
Publisher: American Medical Association
Citation: Archives of General Psychiatry, 2011, 68 (5), pp. 459-465.
Abstract: Context 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. Objective To estimate the prevalence and characteristics of adults with ASD living in the community in England. Design 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. Setting General community (ie, private households) in England. Participants Adults (people 16 years or older). Main Outcome Measures 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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.
DOI Link: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.38
ISSN: 0003-990x
eISSN: 1538-3636
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Health Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
yoa05097_459_466.pdfPublisher version279.1 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.