The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of adults with intellectual impairment:evidence from two longitudinal UK surveys

Totsika, V. and Emerson, E. and Hastings, R.P. and Hatton, C. (2021) The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of adults with intellectual impairment:evidence from two longitudinal UK surveys. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. ISSN 0964-2633

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Abstract

Background: People with an intellectual impairment experience high levels of social and health inequalities. We investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of people with intellectual impairment, controlling for demographic risk, socio-economic circumstances and pre-pandemic health levels. Method: Data were drawn from two UK birth cohorts that surveyed their participants on the impact of COVID-19 in May 2020: the Millennium Cohort Study (20-year-old participants) and the British Cohort Survey (50-year-old participants). Health outcomes (COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 symptoms, self-reported physical health, mental health, health service use and impact on health behaviours) were compared between people with and without intellectual impairment, adjusting for gender and ethnicity. Differences were further adjusted for self-reported health pre-pandemic and the impact of COVID-19 on socio-economic circumstances. Results: Controlling for gender and ethnicity, poor health was reported less often by younger adults [relative risks (RR): 0.44 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23, 0.86] and more often by older adults (RR: 1.99 95% CI 1.45, 2.73) with intellectual impairment compared with peers. Older adults were also more likely to experience fever and loss of taste/smell. Adjusting for pre-pandemic health and socio-economic circumstances eliminated some differences in the older cohort, but not in the younger one. Conclusion: In young adulthood, the impact of COVID-19 on health outcomes was not negative. The pattern was reversed in later adulthood, although differences were mostly eliminated after adjustment suggesting a socio-economic and age gradient of COVID-19 impacts on intellectual impairment.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2800/2808
Subjects:
ID Code:
157299
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 Jul 2021 16:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
15 Oct 2021 04:23