The physical health of British adults with intellectual disabilities : a cross-sectional study

Emerson, E. and Hatton, C. and Robertson, J. and Baines, S. (2016) The physical health of British adults with intellectual disabilities : a cross-sectional study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 60 (7-8). p. 662. ISSN 0964-2633

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Aim: To add to knowledge about the health of the ‘hidden majority’ of adults with mild intellectual disabilities (ID) who do not use ID services. Method: Secondary analysis of data from Understanding Society. We identified 299 participants aged 16 to 49 years (1.1% of the unweighted age-restricted sample) as having ID, and 22,927 as not having ID. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate between-group differences adjusting for potential confounding personal characteristics. Results: British adults with ID have markedly poorer health than their non-disabled peers on the majority of indicators investigated including self-rated health, multiple morbidity, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, obesity, measured grip strength, measured lung function and polypharmacy. Adjusting for between-group differences in socio-economic disadvantage and neighbourhood quality had a marked impact on risk estimates with the number of statistically significant differences reducing from 13 to 8 and statistically significant attenuation of risk on three indicators. Conclusions: The ‘hidden majority’ of adults with primarily mild ID have significantly poorer health than their non-disabled peers. This may, in part, reflect their increased risk of exposure to well established ‘social determinants’ of poorer health.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? clinical neurologyrehabilitationpsychiatry and mental healthneurology ??
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Deposited On:
28 Nov 2016 13:30
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 16:36