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Why are autistic people 50% more likely to die during a hospital stay?

| | August 12, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Adults with autism are nearly 50 percent more likely to die in the hospital than their neurotypical peers, according to the first analysis of these patterns, based on discharge records from hospitals in the United States.

These high death rates may be due to the poor care autistic people tend to receive at hospitals, says [profesor of social work] Lauren Bishop.

“In-hospital mortality can be a measure of care quality or it can be a measure of care complexity,” that is, how hard it is to treat a particular person’s mix of conditions, Bishop says. The researchers controlled for co-occurring conditions, so the new findings indicate that, regardless of the specific conditions involved, “autistic adults are receiving lower-quality care in hospital settings, which may be leading to their mortality,” she says.

The findings should spur healthcare providers to improve care for people with autism, says Christina Nicolaidis, professor of social work at Portland State University in Oregon, who was not involved in the study. “We do know that there are basic things we can do to improve healthcare; we need to actually do them and study [them to] see if they work.”

Read full, original post: For autistic adults, a hospital stay carries high risk of death

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