Table 4

Cause-specific mortality in relation to ASD and separately for low-functioning ASD and high-functioning ASDa

Controls, n
of deaths (%)
ASD OR (95% CI)
n of deaths (%)
Low-functioning ASD
OR (95% CI), n of deaths (%)
High-functioning ASD
OR (95% CI), n of deaths (%)
Infections245 (0.01)1.83 (0.75–4.30)
5 (0.02)
N/AN/A
Neoplasms4493 (0.17)1.80 (1.46–2.23)
88 (0.32)
2.12 (1.25–3.61)
14 (0.22)
1.75 (1.39–2.21)
74 (0.35)
Endocrine474 (0.02)3.70 (2.34–5.87)
19 (0.07)
8.89 (3.52–22.41)
5 (0.08)
3.07 (1.80–5.23)
14 (0.07)
Mental and behavioural
disorders
925 (0.03)2.80 (1.94–4.03)
30 (0.11)
21.81** (12.20–39.00)
14 (0.22)
1.58 (0.96–2.59)
16 (0.08)
Nervous system737 (0.03)7.49 (5.78–9.72)
62 (0.23)
40.56** (26.82–61.33)
32 (0.51)
3.98 (2.76–5.74)
30 (0.14)
Circulatory system8820 (0.33)1.49 (1.27–1.75)
157 (0.58)
4.61** (3.06–6.95)
24 (0.38)
1.33 (1.12–1.58)
133 (0.64)
Respiratory system1351 (0.05)2.68 (1.99–3.62)
45 (0.17)
13.92** (7.04–27.50)
10 (0.16)
2.17 (1.55–3.05)
35 (0.17)
Digestive system733 (0.03)3.31 (2.25–4.87)
27 (0.10)
9.13* (4.42–18.87)
8 (0.13)
2.61 (1.65–4.12)
19 (0.09)
Genitourinary system253 (0.01)3.82 (2.13–6.84)
12 (0.04)
N/AN/A
Congenital malformations106 (<0.01)19.10 (11.94–30.55)
21 (0.08)
38.75* (20.39–73.64)
13 (0.21)
10.38 (4.98–21.61)
8 (0.04)
Symptoms, signs and
abnormal findings, other
618 (0.02)1.81 (1.06–3.08)
14 (0.05)
N/AN/A
Suicide1094 (0.04)7.55 (6.04–9.44)
83 (0.31)
2.41 (1.14–5.11)
7 (0.11)
9.40** (7.43–11.90)
76 (0.36)
External causes, other1696 (0.06)1.67 (1.16–2.40)
30 (0.11)
1.53 (0.69–3.44)
6 (0.10)
1.71 (1.14–2.56)
24 (0.11)
Other232 (0.01)5.84 (3.46–9.86)
15 (0.06)
N/AN/A
  • ASD, autism spectrum disorder; OR, odds ratio; CI, confidence interval.

  • a. Missing data on primary cause of death (n = 2677, <0.5% in both groups) are not included in the analyses; N/A analyses were not performed owing to the low number of cases in certain cells; partial likelihood ratio test for model selection (low-functioning ASD/high-functioning ASD).

  • * P<0.01 (Digestive P=0.009; Congenital malformations P = 0.007);

  • ** P<0.001.