3DN’s new BMJ Open publication reveals multiple markers of premature death for Australian Adults with Intellectual Disability
A new 3DN publication reveals that adults with an intellectual disability (ID) experience premature mortality and over-representation of potentially avoidable deaths. The study, published in BMJ Open (to view, please visit http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/7/2/e013489), used linked data from nearly 20,000 adults with ID who were receiving disability services to examine the rate and cause of deaths as well as potentially avoidable deaths.
Compared to the general population in NSW, people with ID died on average 27 years earlier. The overall Comparative Mortality Figure was 1.3, but was substantially higher for 20-44 year (4.0) and 45-64 year (2.3) age groups. Years of Productive Life Lost was 137/1,000 for people with ID and 49 in the general population. Cause of death in people with ID was dominated by respiratory, circulatory, neoplasm and nervous system. After recoding deaths previously attributed to the aetiology of the disability, 38% of deaths in people with ID and 17% in the general population were potentially avoidable. The top causes of potentially avoidable deaths were cardiovascular, infections, cancer, other and respiratory. The publication calls for urgent action including a national system of reporting of deaths in people with ID and a broad array of measures to address the health inequalities and close the mortality gap for people with ID.