Autism costs to the United States as a whole are expected to reach nearly half a trillion dollars annually in the year 2025, according to an analysis from health economists at UC Davis Medical Center.
Researchers looked at medical, non-medical and lost productivity costs. They said costs for 2015 total $268 billion and in 10 years will reach $461 billion. Researchers said their estimates were "conservative," and that it was the first time the economic burden for the U.S. had been calculated.
"The economic burden of autism is more than double the economic burden for stroke and hypertension -- combined," said lead author Paul Leigh, a health economist at UC Davis Medical Center.
And while these costs are very high, research funding lags, he said.
"The economic burden of autism is on par with the costs of diabetes," Leigh said. "And yet the federal government is funding diabetes [research] at about five times the rate that it is funding research into autism."