Managing health problems in people with intellectual disabilities
- By: Henny M J van Schrojenstein Lantman-de Valk, Patricia Noonan Walsh
People with intellectual disabilities have a higher prevalence of health problems than the general public, and their health needs are often unrecognised and unmet.1 People with intellectual and other disabilities are also more likely to develop secondary health conditions.2 Improving the health of people with disabilities during their lives is a specific aim of the Healthy People 2010 initiative in the United States,3 the Valuing People initiative in the United Kingdom,4 and the Pomona project (www.pomonaproject.org),5 a public health initiative funded by the European Union to develop and test a set of health indicators for people with disabilities.
A recent randomised controlled trial on annual health screening in people with intellectual disabilities found an improvement in health in the intervention group.6 Nevertheless, epidemiological research on the health of people with intellectual disabilities is limited. We present here an up to date overview.
Epidemiological research shows a prevalence of intellectual disability