According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that one in 100 children worldwide has autism.
According to Statista, the number of children with autism spectrum disorder in the United States is expected to be 80 cases per 10,000 children in 2022.
According to the WHO, symptoms can be detected in childhood, but autism is often not diagnosed until much later.
According to a study published on the JAMA Pediatrics site, people with autism spectrum disorder or autism have an increased risk of developing cardio-metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
How was the study done?
To investigate this further, researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center examined the association between ASD and cardiometabolic diseases. According to the authors, their research is the first comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis to explore these potential risks associated with autism.The researchers used 34 studies that included 276,173 participants with autism and 7,733,306 individuals without the condition.
After examining the data, the scientists found that people with autism had a 64.1% higher risk of developing type 1 diabetes and a 146.7% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people without autism, and Sufferers had a 45.9% higher risk of developing it. heart disease compared to autistic people.
Specifically, autistic people had a 69.4% higher risk of elevated cholesterol levels than people without autism spectrum disorder. Notably, autistic individuals have statistically and clinically significant lower levels of HDL (bad cholesterol) and higher triglycerides than those without autism. Experts believe that high triglycerides with low HDL are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
However, the researchers did not find a significantly increased risk of high blood pressure or stroke in autistic individuals. Nevertheless, the team found that children with autism were more likely to develop heart conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, in general.
The study authors suggest that because people with autism appear to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease, health care providers should monitor people with ASD for early signs of cardiometabolic disease and its complications.
What are the causes of autism spectrum disorder?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no known cause of autism spectrum disorders. Considering the complexity of the disorder and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there may be a number of causes. Genetics and environment may play a role.
- genetics. Several different genes appear to be associated with autism spectrum disorders. For some children, autism spectrum disorder may be associated with a genetic disorder, such as Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For others, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder. In addition, other genes may affect brain development or the way neurons in the brain communicate, or may determine the severity of symptoms. Some gene mutations appear to run in families, while others occur spontaneously.
- environmental factors. Researchers are currently studying whether viral infections, medications, complications during pregnancy or air pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder.