At least one in every 100 adults has a form of autism but rates of the condition are not on the rise, NHS research has revealed.

The study, which polled 4,000 households in England and asked people a series of questions on their psychiatric health, found no evidence to suggest rates of autism were increasing and rejected claims of a link between the condition and the MMR vaccine. It also found that autism was more common among men (1.8 per cent) than women (0.2 per cent).

The report, funded by the Department of health, looked at autistic spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome, indicating that sufferers may exhibit a wide range of problems including trouble communicating their feelings and interacting with others.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre, said: “The recent report by the National Audit Office on supporting people with autism through adulthood suggests very little recognition and service provision by local authorities or the NHS for adults with autism spectrum disorder.”