Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England

report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007

Summary

This report presents data on the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), based on the data collected at phases one and two of the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS) 2007. These findings were not included in the initial survey report. Estimated disorder prevalence is presented by age, sex, ethnic group, marital status, highest educational qualification, equivalised household income, economic activity status, receipt of benefits, housing tenure, area level deprivation and predicted verbal IQ. The level and nature of treatment and service use is considered, although the sample size means that this cannot be explored in detail.

Key facts

  • Using the recommended threshold of a score of 10 or more on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 1.0 per cent of the adult population had ASD. Published childhood population studies show the prevalence rate among children is also approximately 1.0 per cent.
  • The ASD prevalence rate was higher in men (1.8 per cent) than women (0.2 per cent). This fits with the gender profile found in childhood population studies.
  • There is no indication of any increased use of treatment or services for mental or emotional problems among adults with ASD. This is borne out by the recent National Audit Office publication “Supporting People with Autism Through Adulthood”.
  • A greater proportion of single people were assessed with ASD than people of other marital statuses combined. This was particularly evident among men.
  • Prevalence of ASD was associated with educational qualification, particularly among men. The rate for men was lowest among those with a degree level qualification and highest among those with no qualifications.

Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England - report from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007 (0.81MB)

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Comments

adults with ASD: unrecognised and socially disadvantaged

Some of the content of the report relating to autism/ASD was published in the research literature, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21536975

The authors apparently claim that health and welfare professionals have ignored enormous levels of severe and profound disability due to ASD for decades. The other question is will the rate in adults double when/if the rate in children doubles again?