Anxiety is common in children with ASD; however, the burden of specific anxiety disorders for adults with ASD is under-researched. Using the Stockholm Youth Cohort, we compared anxiety disorder diagnoses among autistic adults (n = 4049), with or without intellectual disability, and population controls (n = 217,645). We conducted additional sibling analyses. Anxiety disorders were diagnosed in 20.1% of adults with ASD compared with 8.7% of controls (RR = 2.62 [95% CI 2.47-2.79]), with greatest risk for autistic people without intellectual disability. Rates of almost all individual anxiety disorders were raised, notably obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobic anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders were more common in full siblings and half-siblings of people with ASD. The implications of this are explored.
Bibliographical noteThe acceptance date for this record is provisional and based upon the month of publication for the article.
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Intellectual disability
- Mental health