COVID-19 Fatalities: Study Shows Those With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities (IDD) More Likely To Die From COVID-19
: A recent study by researchers from Syracuse University-New York and SUNY Upstate Medical University indicates that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without IDD.
The disparity is likely related to a higher prevalence of comorbid diseases among those with IDD, and/or a higher percentage of people with IDD are living in congregate residential settings.
The research, "Intellectual and Developmental Disability and COVID-19 Case-Fatality Trends: TriNetX Analysis," was published by ScienceDirect's Disability and Health Journal
The research study included 30,282 people who were identified as COVID-19 positive in the TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network Platform.
Dr Scott Landes, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a research affiliate for the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion who led the research told Thailand Medical News, "More attention is needed to this vulnerable health population in order to ensure their safety and well-being during this pandemic, including careful attention to the impact of public policies such as PPE prioritization and funding streams on the ability of residential service providers to guarantee quality care during this time."
The research was conducted by Dr Landes and three researchers from SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, New York: Dr Margaret Turk, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Dr Margaret Formica, Associate Professor of Public Health and Preventative Medicine and Associate Professor of Urology; and Katherine Goss from the Disability & Health Research Team.
For the study, all participants had COVID-19, so rates are case-fatality rates that gave the researchers an idea of the severity of the disease among both groups. Among ages 0-17, for every 100 individuals with COVID-19, 1.6 with IDD died and less than one without IDD died. Among ages 18-74, for every 100 individuals with COVID-19, 4.5 with IDD died compared to 2.7 without IDD. Rates were similar for those 75 and over, for every 100 individuals with COVID-19, 21.1 with IDD died and 20.7 without IDD died.
Dr Landes commented, "Based upon the case fatality rates we report among those ages 18-74, if 100,000 individuals with IDD contract COVID-19 which is entirely possible in light of the estimates of the size of this population and the cumulative incidence rates we are seeing in our research we would expect 4,500 to die."
He further added, "Comparatively, among 100,000 individuals without IDD, we would expect 2,700 to die. That would be an excess of 1,800 IDD deaths and in my mind that is unacceptable."
The study team also found that individuals with IDD had a higher prevalence of comorbid circulatory, respiratory, and endocrine diseases across all age groups.
Though the researchers could not test causality in this data, it
is possible this partly explains the differences they found in case-fatality rates. Some of this difference may also be due to the higher percentage of individuals with IDD who reside in congregate settings, a characteristic the researchers could not account for in the study but are continuing to investigate.
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