‘Worryingly’ high levels of suicide amongst people with autism

Suicide rates among people with autism in England have reached “worryingly” high levels, according to experts writing in The Lancet Psychiatry. | Story via OnMedica

The researchers – from Coventry and Newcastle universities – say the issue remains poorly understood and that action is urgently needed to help those most at risk.

Dr Sarah Cassidy from Coventry University cites a clinical study she led in 2014 in which 66% of adults newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS) reported having contemplated suicide. In the same study, which remains the most recent clinical research into suicidality in autism, 35% of the 365 respondents newly diagnosed with AS said they had planned or attempted to end their own life, with 31% reporting that they suffered depression.

A 2016 population study in Sweden also concluded that suicide is a leading cause of premature death in people with autism spectrum disorder.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Cassidy S, Rodgers J. Understanding and prevention of suicide in autism. The Lancet Psychiatry, published 24 May 2017.

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