Autism is definitely one of the most common and underrated mental diseases currently running rampant in the world. Definitely not caused by vaccines, the condition is often misinterpreted or even taken lightly, as it is does not benefit from the same amount of media coverage or pop-culture portrayal as the more “mainstream” psychological conditions like sociopathy, depression or PTSD.
But that doesn’t, by any means, connote that it’s easy to live with. On the contrary, the way the disorder manifests makes it extremely difficult to led a normal life, and it shows. According to a recent study from the United Kingdom and Sweden, autism begets much shorter life spans for sufferers.
Shorter life spans and causes of death
The Swedish study determined that people suffering from autism suffer from far earlier deaths than the average population. But by how much they die before their time depends on several factors, particularly on the type of autism from which they suffer. The differences are dramatic.
As with pretty much all disease, disorders, syndromes, or conditions, there are multiple types of autism from which you can suffer. Each is more difficult to live with than the other, and each brings about a different type of early end. As expected, what follows isn’t for the faint of heart.
The more severe form of autism tends to come along with other issues, particularly learning disabilities. This form is also sometimes associated with severe epilepsy, and the people suffering from it tend to die on average about 30 years earlier than the average populous. The leading cause of death for them is epilepsy, and they have a 40% higher chance to die from it then other people.
Meanwhile the lighter form of autism is associated with a death 18 years earlier than the average, with the leading cause of death for these people being suicide. People suffering from this form of autism are nine times more likely to end their own life than the average populous.
More about the study
For the study, the team of researchers looked at a huge sample – 27,000 autistic adults, and at an even bigger control group – 2.7 million healthy adults. Funded by the autism research charity Autistica, the study is meant to raise awareness about the awful condition.
In the United Kingdom alone there are over 700,000 people suffering from the autism spectrum disorders. That’s about 1% of the country’s population – and we’re only talking about the diagnosed cases. The total yearly cost of autism in the UK is a staggering $46 billion.
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