Epidemiology of Chronic Disease in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
thesisposted on 05.06.2018, 11:14 by Thomas E. W. Chalk
People with intellectual disabilities [ID] experience a disproportionate burden of health inequalities compared with the general population, including higher rates of obesity. Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are both common. As people with ID are now living longer, morbidity due to chronic conditions, including diabetes and CVD, is becoming increasingly important. I aimed to review existing evidence for the current prevalence of chronic disease and cardiometabolic conditions factors in the ID population and compare them to the general population. In addition, I aimed to review multicomponent lifestyle interventions for primary preventions of chronic disease and cardiometabolic conditions factors in the ID population. Chapter two shows evidence suggests that prevalence of chronic disease and associated risk factors is similar to that of the general population, and therefore in need of intervention. This is inconsistent with previous research indicating health disparities. However, there may be an influence of under-diagnosis in retrospective datasets. Future research would benefit from further studies with general population comparisons to make more reliable and valid comparisons. Chapter three shows that generally, significant positive intervention effects can be achieved. The included studies noted similar limitations and made strong recommendations for future research. It also indicated there is a lack of research detailing interventions in this area. This thesis indicates that levels of cardiometabolic disease in people with ID are generally comparable to that of the general population. However, due to limitations in reported data throughout the literature this conclusion should be treated with some reservations. Chronic disease prevalence is high and reliable methods of improving health in people with ID need researching further because primary prevention is not as easily accomplishable as in the general population.