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Monday, October 30, 2023

Diabetes and Autism

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their familiesHealth problems are prominent among them.

Lay abstract:
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that is challenging to manage. Estimates of how common diabetes is among non-autistic adults are available, but improved estimates for autistic adults are needed. The purpose of this study was to obtain improved diabetes estimates for autistic adults. We analyzed a large private health insurance claims database to estimate how common diabetes was among autistic adults, and how likely autistic adults were to have diabetes compared to non-autistic adults at 5-year age intervals throughout adulthood (e.g. 18–22, 23–27). We found that diabetes was more common among autistic adults than non-autistic adults and that autistic adults were significantly more likely than non-autistic adults to have diabetes throughout most of adulthood. Our findings suggest that autistic adults may be more likely than non-autistic adults to experience diabetes in adulthood. The development of diabetes support services and programs that accommodate autistic adults’ individual needs are important for future study to promote positive diabetes outcomes for autistic adults.