Cost of autism is more than cancer, strokes and heart disease, study finds

  • LSE researchers have found that the cost of autism is so high because it is a lifelong condition and affects more than 1% of the population. Pounds Up

    Autism costs the UK economy £2bn a year which is more than any other medical condition and is a greater cost than cancer, strokes and heart disease combined, say an economic analysis of the condition's impact.

    Researchers say these high figures are because it is a life-long condition and the hope that their findings will spur policymakers into intervening more effectively and at an earlier age, reports the Guardian.

    Professor Martin Knapp, from the London School of Economics who co-authored the study, said: "Autism is more common than perhaps people realise - it's more than 1% of the population. Also the impact that it has is across the lifespan, particularly for people with autism and learning difficulties, also known as low-functioning autism. Those individuals would need quite a lot of care and support from a pretty early age. You're talking about 60 to 70 years of support for people with this level of need."

    Over 600,000 people in the UK are estimated to have autism, which is associated with poor social and communication skills and restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour. Almost a quarter of people with autism speaks little or no words, with 85% not working full time.

    The paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics on Monday, was the result of a joint UK-US study looking at the costs of autism spectrum disorders in both countries by reviewing existing literature.

    Knapp said: "Some of the ways individuals have assistance with a condition don't have to be as severe, demanding and costly as they are today. If you can do better things to address the underlying behaviours or the consequences of autism, if you can do more to identify or treat those needs, we can do more to bring some of those costs down."

    In the UK, £4m per year is spent on autism research, compared to £590m on cancer, £169m on heart disease and £32m on stroke research. The research charity Autistica said the paper makes the case for greater investment to understand the condition, rather than ploughing money into long-term care.

    "Right now we spend just £180 on research for every £1m we spend on care," said Christine Swahey, its chief executive. "If you're spending that much money, you really need to know whether you are spending it in the best way. All governments are strapped for cash, so you have to make sure you are spending it effectively, which I'm not sure we are doing at the moment. Autism is something that develops very, very early in infancy, and if we could get in early and intervene before school age, we could maybe alter the way autism develops in adulthood."

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

    Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1434605

Related articles

  • Read More

    Young people with learning disabilities more likely to be abused

    A group of children’s charities have said that young people with disabilities have the “same vulnerabilities” as all young people but face extra “barriers” to getting protection or support,...

  • Read More

    Success for a disability sport programme

    The programme ran for three weeks and included multi-sport camps at Aberdeen Sports Village, reports the Mearns Leader. Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee...

  • Read More

    Hartlepool to open a disability centre

    Work has begun on the Hartlepool Borough Council project which aims to provide the Centre for Independent Living on the site of the current Havelock Centre in Burbank, reports The Hartlepool Mail.It...

  • Read More

    Reform for care of adults with learning disabilities criticised for being slow

    Following the care home abuse scandal at Winterbourne, Sir Stephen Bubb headed a review into care home abuse, which was published in November, reports the BBC.England's chief nursing officer said...

  • Read More

    Campaigners warn that people with disabilities are losing rights due to government cuts

    Charities are concerned that the rights of people with learning disabilities to live independent lives are slipping due to government cuts to benefits and social care, reports the Guardian. A letter...

  • Read More

    Concern over disability benefits following council change

    On the 30th of June a £500m Independent Living Fund will be in the control of local authorities, leaving people fearing how the benefit allowance for disabled adults will be affected, reports the...

  • Read More

    Victims of disability hate crime are being let down

    Police, prosecutors and probations services have failed to bring in need change over the past two years, a report by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate has found, reports the BBC.The CPS, police and...

  • Read More

    New initiative to support young people with disabilities

    Liberty Staffordshire Community Interest Company have been developed to maximise opportunities for young people due to growing concern they could be left isolated following the withdrawal of...

  • Read More

    How technology is helping people with disabilities

    At the exhibit people presented all-terrain wheelchairs, adapted smartphone for people whose fingers can't cope with normal devices, wheelchairs that allow the user to become level with the people...

  • Read More

    Charities call for action on accessible housing

    Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has told The Yorkshire Post that the lack of housing which is accessible for people with disabilities must become and election issue and is calling for the...

The Welfare Reform Act: Universal Credit, Sheltered and Supported Housing The content was concise and to the point. The content was relevant to our service, and gave us a better us a better indication of were stand with upcoming changes. Rosie Kaur - Panahghar

 

Briefing Signup

 
Quick Contact

Quick contact

Close

Contact us

T 0333 332 1991 (Local rate)

E info@supportsolutions.co.uk