Covid. Leading cause of death among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

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People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are the ones that paid the highest toll to the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020 in terms of mortality. This is what emerges from a research conducted by Syracuse University in New York.


COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in 2020. This is highlighted by research published in Disability and Health Journal by a team coordinated by Scott Landes, of Syracuse University in New York.

The research took into account certified deaths from COVID-19 and showed that, among people without IDD, COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, while among IDD sufferers, COVID -19 was the leading cause of death.

IDDs are characterized by impairments in mobility, language, learning, self-care and the ability to live independently. I am IDD Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. “Even normalizing the results based on age, gender and ethnicity, COVID-19 was more lethal for those with IDD than for those without this condition,” explains Landes, noting how people with IDD also died at a younger age.

To explain the reason for this higher mortality, the researchers hypothesized that comorbidities such as hypothyroidism, seizures and obesity, or life spent in group settings, associated with a greater spread of COVID-19 played an important role.

Source: Disability and Health Journal 2022

September 14, 2022
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