People with autism spectrum disorder are at a higher likelihood of experiencing chronic physical health conditions, according to new research released in Autism.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, involved more than 1,000 people with autism and over 1,200 without autism.
The participants were instructed to complete a survey regarding their lifestyle choices and daily habits, in addition to their medical history.
Throughout the study, the UK-based research group found that people with autism were 1.5 to 4.3 times at a higher risk of developing a health condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or asthma, compared to the healthy control group.
“These results suggest that autistic individuals carry increased risks for these conditions when compared to the general population, even after controlling for age, ethnicity, education level, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol use,” the co-authors explained in their findings.
“Further, these risks may differ depending on biological sex for autistic individuals,” the authors also added.
“Although this is a large sample of autistic adults across the lifespan, future research should employ larger, population-based samples to confirm these findings,” researchers suggested.