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12-10-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 1/2017 Open Access

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 1/2017

Increased Risk for Substance Use-Related Problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 1/2017
Auteurs:
Agnieszka Butwicka, Niklas Långström, Henrik Larsson, Sebastian Lundström, Eva Serlachius, Catarina Almqvist, Louise Frisén, Paul Lichtenstein
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10803-016-2914-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Despite limited and ambiguous empirical data, substance use-related problems have been assumed to be rare among patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Using Swedish population-based registers we identified 26,986 individuals diagnosed with ASD during 1973–2009, and their 96,557 non-ASD relatives. ASD, without diagnosed comorbidity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or intellectual disability, was related to a doubled risk of substance use-related problems. The risk of substance use-related problems was the highest among individuals with ASD and ADHD. Further, risks of substance use-related problems were increased among full siblings of ASD probands, half-siblings and parents. We conclude that ASD is a risk factor for substance use-related problems. The elevated risks among relatives of probands with ASD suggest shared familial (genetic and/or shared environmental) liability.

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