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Intellect Dev Disabil. 2016 Oct;54(5):354-65. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-54.5.354.

Systemwide Initiative Documents Robust Health Screening for Adults With Intellectual Disability.

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Marisa Brown, Diane Jacobstein, and Irene Seyoung Yoon, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Bruno Anthony, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development; and Kim Bullock, Georgetown University, Department of Family Medicine.


It is well documented that adults with intellectual disability (ID) experience higher rates of a series of health conditions compared to their peers without disability. These health conditions include cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and psychiatric and behavioral disorders. With life expectancy approximating the general population, adults with ID are also now experiencing health conditions related to aging, further increasing their risk for diminished function and well-being. This increased morbidity poses new challenges in geriatric healthcare planning for this population. Relatively simple health prevention practices, such as the implementation of a health screening tool, can substantially increase disease detection and clinical activities directed toward improved health outcomes for people with ID. This study examines data collected from the District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Administration's (DC DDA's) health screening component of its Health and Wellness Standards. Findings are presented, along with recommendations and implications for improving preventive health screening practices in the ID population.


aging; health disparities; health screenings; intellectual disability; preventive health

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