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A comparative study on medical comorbidities among children with autism spectrum disorder and controls in a children’s hospital

Authors:

Miyuru Chandradasa ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, LK
About Miyuru
Lecturer in Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya
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Yasodha Rohanachandra,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
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Dulangi Dahanayake,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Dulangi
Senior Registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo
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Darshani Hettiarachchi,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Darshani
Senior Registrar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo
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Malsha Gunathilake,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Malsha
Registrar in Psychiatry, Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo
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Roshan Fernando,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Roshan
Registrar in Psychiatry, Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo
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Swarna Wijetunge

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About Swarna
Consultant Psychiatrist, Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo 
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Abstract

Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, in which medical disorders are known to occur higher than in the general paediatric population. This may indicate either that the neurodevelopmental disorder is acting as a risk factor or sharing a common pathophysiological mechanism with the medical disorder. We could not access any publications focusing on medical comorbidities in autism from Sri Lanka. 

Objective: To compare the prevalence and types of medical comorbidities between children with ASD and outpatient controls presenting to a children’s hospital in Sri Lanka.

Method: This was an observational analytical study using a case control design. Seventy three consecutive new enrolments diagnosed as ASD at the child psychiatric services of Lady Ridgeway Hospital were recruited to the study group. An age and gender matched group of children presenting to the outpatient department with minor physical problems were recruited as the comparison group. The presence of a medical disorder was determined retrospectively by perusal of medical records.

Results: The prevalence of febrile seizures, epilepsy, bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis and recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms in the child were higher in the ASD group compared to the control group. The differences of the rates between groups for bronchial asthma and recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms were statistically significant. Also, pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes mellitus in the mother was higher in ASD group.

Conclusions: The probability of co-occurrence of certain medical disorders is significantly higher in children with ASD (neurological, respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermatological disorders) in comparison to controls.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2017; 46(3): 262-266

How to Cite: Chandradasa, M. et al., (2017). A comparative study on medical comorbidities among children with autism spectrum disorder and controls in a children’s hospital. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health. 46(3), pp.262–266. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v46i3.8329
Published on 05 Sep 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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