The researchers in this US study were looking to compare a range of indicators of health status and service use between adults with learning disabilities, with and without Down syndrome.
They compared 1,199 people using services who had Down syndrome (DS) with a comparative sample of 11,182 people with learning disabilities who did not have Down syndrome. They got their sample from National Core Indicator surveys of adult service users in 25 U.S. states.
What they found was
- People with DS were younger those without the syndrome
- Men with DS were older than women with Down syndrome, (the reverse was true of the individuals without DS).
- Most (68%) people with DS had mild or moderate learning disability.
- Prevalence of vision impairment, hearing impairment, and physical disability increased with age.
- Adults with DS were more likely to have Alzheimer’s dementia, have a hearing impairment, or be overweight,
- Adults with DS were less likely to have a physical disability
- Adults with DS were less likely to live in institutions or their own home, but more likely to live in a family member’s home.
- Participants were more likely to be reported as overweight if they had DS, were female, and were physically inactive,
- Participants were less likely to be reported as overweight if they were older, had more severe learning disability, had cerebral palsy, or were not independently mobile.
Demographic Characteristics, Health Conditions, and Residential Service Use in Adults with Down Syndrome in 25 U.S. States, Stancliffe R et al., in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 50, 2, 92-108.