Intercourse, age of prognosis correlate with autism comorbidities | Spectrum
Gender balance: The relationship between autism and various concurrent conditions such as anxiety or ADHD is stronger in women, according to a new study.
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The likelihood that an autistic person will have another condition correlates strongly with the age at which they were diagnosed with autism. Also, according to a new study, autistic girls are more likely to have a different condition than autistic boys.
The study looked at whether an autistic person’s age, age at diagnosis, or the gender of birth changed their chances of suffering from any of 11 common conditions, including epilepsy, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It relied on data from around 16,000 people with autism and more than 650,000 people without autism up to the age of 16 in the Danish National Patient Registry, a large dataset that diagnosed the date of birth and gender of people in the Danish hospital system and all of them Diagnoses recorded. Receive.
Among people diagnosed late, ages 11 to 15, 26 percent of girls and 13 percent of boys were also diagnosed with a mood disorder, the study said. The opposite trend occurred in intellectual disability; Forty percent of people with an early diagnosis of autism had intellectual disability, compared with just 10 percent of people with a late diagnosis of autism.
The results could suggest that young men and women might not be diagnosed with autism unless they also have another condition, the researchers say. Nevertheless, they urge caution when interpreting the results.
“We consider several possible explanations for this result, but with our current data we cannot say with certainty which of them are true,” says study researcher Eya-Mist Rødgaard, a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen who is professor with Laurent Mottron . worked for psychiatry at the University of Montreal in Canada.
Perhaps the diversity of autism is partly explained by age, so that different “types” of autism appear at different stages of life, says Rødgaard. Or “Symptoms of psychiatric conditions such as anxiety or ADHD increase the likelihood that a child will also be screened for autism, potentially leading to the fact that autism is often diagnosed in the age group who are more likely to develop a particular comorbid disorder.”
The data may also reflect the uncertainty in diagnosing autism. Because autism and concurrent conditions like anxiety are often diagnosed in a timely manner, this may indicate that there isn’t a clear line demarcating where autism ends and those other conditions begin, Mottron says. “Is autism a natural category or not? That is not resolved.”
For all 11 coexisting conditions included in the study, the age at which autism was diagnosed was the single largest predictor of whether a participant had the condition. But sex was another major contributor to many of the conditions.
“In psychiatry, there are some illnesses that are much more common in boys than in girls, such as behavioral disorders,” says Mottron. “But amazingly, the odds ratio are reversed when these conditions are associated with autism. This means that conditions that occur more frequently in boys than in girls in the general population are completely reversed in autism. “
Among autistic individuals, girls were 2.2 times more likely than boys to be anxious, the study found. In contrast, anxiety in non-autistic girls is about 1.4 times higher than in non-autistic boys. And while non-autistic boys are 2.6 times more likely to have ADHD than non-autistic girls, this ratio has declined within the autism population. Autistic boys are only 1.6 times more likely to have ADHD than autistic girls. The results were published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica in July.