Longitudinal follow-up of subsequent psychiatric comorbidities among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

Ta Chuan Yeh, Mu Hong Chen*, Ya Mei Bai, Shih Jen Tsai, Ju Wei Hsu, Kai Lin Huang, Tung Ping Su, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Chih Sung Liang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The mental health of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a concern of recent years. However, a large-scale longitudinal study investigating the risk and the time course of subsequent psychiatric comorbidities is still lacking. Methods: Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 13,382 children and adolescents with ASD, and 53,528 age- and sex-matched non-ASD controls were enrolled between 2001 and 2009, and followed to the end of 2011. The adjusted hazard ratio (HR) with a corresponding 95 % confidence interval for psychiatric comorbidities among children and adolescents with ASD vs matched controls was estimated. The subjects who developed schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) were identified during the follow-up. Results: Children and adolescents with ASD compared with controls were more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia (19.21; 13.74, 26.88), bipolar disorder (17.59; 12.66, 24.44), depressive disorder (5.56; 4.72, 6.56), anxiety disorder (5.01; 4.49, 5.59), and OCD (16.12; 11.66, 22.30) later in life. The time course of subsequent psychiatric comorbidity showed that anxiety disorder occurred first, usually in late childhood, with psychotic and affective disorders proceeding in adolescence. Those with ASD and anxiety disorder had an additionally increased likelihood of developing subsequent psychiatric comorbidity compared with those with ASD only. Limitation: In claims data analysis, clinical parameters or possible confounders may not be fully captured. Conclusion: Patients with ASD are predisposed to the development of anxiety disorder in late childhood, as well as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, and OCD in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-250
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume331
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Time course

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