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Adults with Asperger's Face Tenfold Increase in Suicidal Thoughts — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 25, 2014

Adults with Asperger's Face Tenfold Increase in Suicidal Thoughts

By Joe Elia

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Suicidal ideation occurs far more frequently among adults suffering from Asperger syndrome than among adults in general, according to a Lancet Psychiatry report.

Researchers surveyed a cohort of some 375 adults newly diagnosed with Asperger's in England. Two thirds reported having had suicidal thoughts over their lifetimes. One third of the cohort reported either having made plans for suicide or attempting it, and one third reported depression. Adults with Asperger's had nearly a tenfold higher risk for suicidal ideation than adults in the general population, and concomitant depression added significantly to the risk.

The authors suggest that clinicians remain alert to the high lifetime risks for suicide in Asperger's, "especially in individuals receiving a late diagnosis."

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