COVID-19 Mortality Rates are Higher among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Scott Landes

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Despite higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), there has been limited reporting of COVID-19 trends for this population. The figure below presents data on COVID-19 case fatality rates (the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases resulting in death) from TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network data. People with IDD have higher COVID-19 case fatality rates, especially at younger ages. For those under the age of 18, the current case fatality rate is 1.6% among those with IDD vs. <.01% among those without IDD. For ages 18-74, the case fatality rate is 4.5% among those with IDD vs. 2.7% among those without IDD. Rates are more comparable among those at older ages (75 and older): 21.1% among those with IDD vs. 20.7% among those without IDD. Although COVID-19 is a concern for all people, it appears to present a greater risk to people with IDD, especially at younger ages.

Data Source: TriNex COVID-19 Research Network; includes COVID-19 deaths through May 14, 2020. IDD includes intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, as well as other rarer types of develomental disability. More details about the methods used in this study can be found in the peer-reviewed publication in the Disability and Health Journal.
Data Source: TriNex COVID-19 Research Network; includes COVID-19 deaths through May 14, 2020. IDD includes intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, as well as other rarer types of develomental disability. More details about the methods used in this study can be found in the peer-reviewed publication in the Disability and Health Journal.

About the Author
Scott Landes (sdlandes@maxwell.syr.edu) is Associate Professor of Sociology, a Faculty Associate in the Aging Studies Institute, and a Lerner Research Affiliate in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

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