23 October 2017 | Medical Express
People who show characteristics of autism are more at risk of attempting suicide, according to a Coventry University study whose results are being presented to a United States federal advisory committee tomorrow.
Researchers found that people who exhibited higher levels of autistic traitswere more likely to try to end their lives than people without the traits because they felt they were excluded from society, were a burden on friends and family, and because they experienced depression.
Previous research has already suggested a link between autistic people and an increased risk of suicide.
However, this is the first study to suggest those who have not been diagnosed with autism but had certain traits typical of autistic people were also more at risk of attempting suicide.
Academics say understanding how these factors are linked is vital in helping to reduce deaths by suicide – and that more research is needed in this area.
The findings coincide with the launch of an urgent appeal by UK charity Autistica calling on the autistic community to get directly involved in further research by signing up to its new autism research network, Discover – autistica.org.uk/take-part – which will link the local autistic community with the Coventry investigators as well as other top UK research centres.