Editorials

People with intellectual disabilities

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7463.414 (Published 19 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:414
  1. Sally-Ann Cooper, professor of learning disabilities (SACooper@clinmed.gla.ac.uk),
  2. Craig Melville, senior lecturer in learning disabilities (cam13h@clinmed.gla.ac.uk),
  3. Jillian Morrison, professor of general practice (jmm4y@clinmed.gla.ac.uk)
  1. Section of Psychological Medicine, Division of Community Based Sciences, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow G12 0XH
  2. Section of Psychological Medicine, Division of Community Based Sciences, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow G12 0XH
  3. Section of General Practice, Division of Community Based Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 9LX

    Their health needs differ and need to be recognised and met

    People with intellectual disabilities comprise about 2% of the UK population. Demographics are, however, changing and the population of people with intellectual disabilities increased by 53% over the 35 year period 1960-95, which equals 1.2% per year.1 A further 11% increase is projected for the 10 year period 1998-2008. These changes are the result of improved socioeconomic conditions, intensive neonatal care, and increasing survival. The health needs of people with intellectual disabilities have an impact on primary healthcare services and all secondary healthcare specialties.

    People with intellectual disabilities experience health inequalities compared with the general population. Although their life expectancy is increasing, it remains much lower than for the rest of the population.25 The standardised mortality ratio has been found to be 8.4 for people with severe intellectual disabilities in United States and 4.9 for people with intellectual disabilities of all levels in Australia.4 5 Additionally, people with intellectual disabilities have higher levels of health …

    View Full Text

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Subscribe