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J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2008 Mar;33(1):48-58. doi: 10.1080/13668250701858463.

Audit of cardiovascular disease risk factors among supported adults with intellectual disability attending an ageing clinic.

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SHAID/SHAD Specialist Healthcare for Adults with (Intellectual) Disability Clinics, Mater and Princess Alexandra Hospitals, Brisbane, Australia.



Little is known about the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor profile for older adults with intellectual disability (ID). As many CVD risk factors are treatable by lifestyle changes, confirmation of the risk factor profile for older adults with ID could substantially impact upon preventive health practices for this group.


Medical charts of all adults aged 40 years or over attending a specialised ageing clinic for adults with ID between January 2002 and June 2005 were reviewed.


Overall, 155 adults' charts were reviewed and 8 (5%) had diagnosed CVD. Risk factor assessments found 18% with hypertension (of 73% checked), 8% with elevated glucose (of 97% checked), 27% with elevated total cholesterol (of 94% checked), 70% overweight or obese (of 55% checked), 11% current or ex-smokers (100% checked), and 96% with inadequate daily exercise (100% checked). Only the prevalence of hypertension and smoking increased significantly with age.


Apart from lack of exercise (which was much more prevalent than for the general population) and overweight or obesity, the overall CVD risk factor profile of supported older adults with ID appears generally more favourable compared to the age-matched general population, although the occurrence of all risk factors is still common. Healthy lifestyle programs for this population should focus on implementation of exercise and nutrition strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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