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    Autistic traits are associated with faster pace of aging: evidence from the Dunedin Study at age 45

    Mason, D. and Ronald, Angelica and Ambler, A. and Caspi, A. and Houts, R. and Poulton, R. and Ramrakha, S. and Wertz, J. and Moffitt, T.E. and Happé, F. (2021) Autistic traits are associated with faster pace of aging: evidence from the Dunedin Study at age 45. Molecular Autism , ISSN 2040-2392. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Growing evidence indicates that the defining characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are distributed throughout the general population; hence, understanding correlates of aging in people with high autistic traits could shed light on ASD and aging. 915 members of the Dunedin longitudinal birth cohort completed a measure of autistic traits at age 45. A composite measure of the “pace of aging” was derived by tracking decline in 19 biomarkers across ages 26, 32, 38, and 45 years. Facial age was also assessed. Reports of perceived health were collected from participants themselves, informants, and interviewers. Higher self-reported autistic traits significantly correlated with a faster pace of aging, older facial age, and poorer self-, informant- and interviewer-rated health. After control for sex, SES and IQ, autistic traits were significantly associated with each variable: pace of aging (β=0.09), facial age (β=0.08), self- (β=-.15), informant (β=-.12), and interviewer-rated (β=-.17) health. Autistic traits measured at age 45 are associated with faster aging. Participants with high autistic traits appear to be more vulnerable to poor health outcomes, as previously reported for those clinically diagnosed with ASD. Therefore, autistic traits may have important health implications. Replicating these findings in samples of autistic people is needed to identify the mechanism of their effect on aging and physical health to improve outcomes for those with ASD diagnoses or high autistic traits.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): aging, autism spectrum disorder, autistic traits, physical health, socio-economic status, intelligence
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Angelica Ronald
    Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2021 12:14
    Last Modified: 16 Jun 2021 10:06
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/44096

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