Washington D.C: Autistics' clock of life ticks faster than that of general public, a charity has warned.
The Swedish study suggested people with autism die on an average 16 years early, with suicide and epilepsy the most common causes of premature death.
The charity Autistica is now trying to raise 10 million pounds to find out why the condition was affecting life expectancy.
The study also showed that people with autism and a learning disability were dying more than 30 years prematurely, at an average age of just 39. Even those who are not held back intellectually by the condition, die an average 12 years early.
Researchers said bullying, social issues and side effects from medication could be contributing factors.
Autistica's chief executive Jon Spiers said that this new research confirms the true scale of the hidden mortality crisis in autism. The inequality in outcomes for autistic people shown in this data is shameful. "We cannot accept a situation where many autistic people will never see their 40th birthday."