Prevalence and incidence of physical health disorders in people with intellectual disability – a systematic review

Ms Peiwen Liao1, Dr Simone Reppermund1, Dr Claire  Vajdic2, Professor Julian Trollor1

1Department Of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3dn), School Of Psychiatry, Unsw Sydney, Randwick, Australia, 2Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, Australia

Intellectual disability (ID) is often accompanied by physical health conditions. However, there is no contemporary systematic review of the prevalence and incidence rates of physical disorders in people with ID in community settings. This paper presents the key findings of a systematic review which fills this gap.

A systematic review is currently being conducted on the prevalence and/or incidence of physical health disorders classified using ICD-10.  6,032 articles were identified by searching Medline, PsyInfo and Embase until November 24, 2018, with 774 articles eligible for full text screening. To date, 419 articles were screened, with 98 articles undergoing quality assessment and data extraction. All articles will have been reviewed by the time of presentation.

We found significant variations in the quality of studies and in estimates of prevalence and/or incidence rates of reported physical disorders. Most studies were published in the past 5 years, and many related to people with Down syndrome. Neurological and hearing disorders are two of the most frequently reported physical disorders. Detailed results, including pooled prevalence rates, will be presented.

Failure to meet the specific health needs of people with ID may lead to serious health outcomes. The key findings of the review will assist health professionals to better meet the health needs of this population and facilitate the development of early detection- and prevention programmes for diseases that are more prevalent in people with ID.


Ms. Peiwen Liao is a PhD student at UNSW, Sydney. She studied at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden before she came to Australia. Her PhD project is exploring health profiles and health services use in people with intellectual disability.

Recent Comments
    Recent Comments