Researchers in Finland looked at medical problems in a population of people with Down syndrome and compared health surveillance to recommendations in national guidelines.
They looked at case records from the specialist services in primary healthcare and disability services.
They found many age-specific medical and surgical problems, including congenital heart defects and middle ear infections which were experienced mostly by younger people. Thyroid disease, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease were also found to be frequent among older people
They found psychiatric disorders and behavioural problems in all age groups.
They concluded that health surveillance was insufficient, despite the fact that guidelines were available and they call for a new joint effort by healthcare staff and disability service providers to ensure that the healthcare needs of people with Down syndrome are met.
Healthcare and guidelines: A population-based survey of recorded medical problems and health surveillance for people with Down syndrome, Määttä T et al. in Journal of intellectual and Developmental Disability, 36, 2 , 118-126