What is the Average Lifespan of an Autistic Person?
Two new studies will surprise families affected by ASD. These studies are showing that autistic people are dying at a much earlier age as compared with the general population.
One study, published in the American Journal of Public Health in April 2017, discovers that the life expectancy in the USA of autistics to be only 36 as compared to 72 for the general population. They observed that autistic people are 40 times more liable to die from different types of injuries, which amount to about 28%, and which include from drowning, suffocation, and asphyxiation.
The second study, published by the British Journal of Psychiatry in January 2018, showed similar results but also threw light on other causes of death. The Swedish study found a life expectancy in autistic people with a cognitive disability at 39.5 years of age versus 70 years for the general population. Autistic individuals without a learning disability had a higher average lifespan of about 58. The main causes of death in autistic people in this sizable study were epilepsy, heart disease, and suicide. The suicide rate among autistics was nine times higher than the general population.