The healthcare needs of people with learning disabilities are well documented, we know they visit primary care professionals less often than would be expected and receive fewer screening tests and fewer health investigations.
This U.S. study looked at the health status of ‘working-age adults with cognitive limitations’ and compared this with adults with no disability by investigating data from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS)
They found those with cognitive limitations had significantly higher prevalence of diabetes than adults with no disability (19.4% vs. 3.8%,) and significantly higher prevalence of another six major chronic conditions.
They also found that a person with disability and diabetes was significantly more likely to have four or more chronic illnesses.
The study adds additional weight to the arguments for improved disease prevention strategies and better education for people with learning disabilities and health care providers.
Diabetes Among Adults With Cognitive Limitations Compared to Individuals With No Cognitive Disabilities, Reichard A & Stolzle H in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 49, 3, 141-154.