People with learning disability and comorbidities experience lower life expectancy

This is an Australian study that analysed mortality in more than 42000 people with learning disability (LD) in New South Wales.over a 10 years period.[1]

The results of the study showed that people with comorbidities are at increased risk of death. People with LD who had cancer were almost eight times more likely to die from the disease in the 10-year period compared to those in the group without. Having a serious mental illness increased the risk of death by four times, whereas Down syndrome increased the person’s risk by three and a half times. Other risks included having cerebral palsy, kidney disease and epilepsy. The authors conclude that their findings provide a basis for policy changes and public health interventions. Cancer screening, mental health interventions, inclusion of people with LD in health policy and improved health care are needed to meet the needs of this population.

1            Reppermund S, Srasuebkul P, Dean K, et al. Factors associated with death in people with intellectual disability. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil 2019:1–10. doi:10.1111/jar.12684