Emergency Department Utilization of Adolescents and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2022 Feb;52(2):617-622. doi: 10.1007/s10803-021-04969-y. Epub 2021 Mar 22.


This study examined emergency department (ED) utilization by adolescents and young adults, 12-30 years of age (AYA) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using the 2016 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project/National Emergency Department Sample (HCUP/NEDS). We investigated the principal reason for an ED visit, presence of an ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC), and likelihood of hospital admission following ED encounter in ASD and Non-ASD cohorts. The ASD cohort had a higher proportion of ED visits for ACSC diagnoses as compared to the Non-ASD cohort. In addition, the likelihood of admission following an ED visit in the ASD cohort was 3.7 times greater than in the Non-ASD cohort.

Keywords: Adolescents and young adults (AYA); Ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC); Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Emergency department (ED).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Young Adult