Watch for Depression and Anxiety in Autism

By Zoler, Mitchel L. | Clinical Psychiatry News, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Watch for Depression and Anxiety in Autism


Zoler, Mitchel L., Clinical Psychiatry News


NEW YORK -- Roughly half of all children with autism have depression, and more have anxiety or irritability, an assessment of 627 pediatric patients shows.

As a result of these findings, children with autism should routinely undergo screening for depression and anxiety, and should receive treatment if either comorbidity exists, Susan D. Mayes, Ph.D., and her associates said in a poster presented at the meeting.

Depression and anxiety had an increased prevalence in older children with autism, in children with a more severe presentation, and in those with a higher IQ, said Dr. Mayes, professor of psychiatry at Penn State University in Hershey, Pa., and her associates. The prevalence of depression and anxiety showed no apparent relationship with sex, race, or socioeconomic status.

The researchers assessed the prevalence of these comorbidities in 1,607 children aged 1-17, including 667 diagnosed with autism, 853 children diagnosed with another psychiatric disorder (including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation, or brain injury), and 187 apparently healthy children. All of the children with autism had both a clinical diagnosis and a score in the autistic range on the Checklist for Autism

Spectrum Disorder. …

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