Preventing premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities

With its latest research, ‘Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities: Progress Update,’ the British Department of Health addresses the current challenges and possible solutions to unequal care leading to higher mortality rates amongst people with intellectual disabilities.

Preventing premature deaths of people with intellectual disabilities
etrIn Great Britain, the government published a report.

The report said people with intellectual disabilities
get worse health care than people without intellectual disabilities.

This means people with intellectual disabilities die sooner
than people without intellectual disabilities.
This happens because it is hard for doctors to find out what kind of health problems people with intellectual disabilities have.

It also happens because people with intellectual disabilities
get wrong treatment, or don’t get treatment on time.

The British government said that this is not acceptable.
They said they will make an effort to prevent people with intellectual disabilities from getting sick and dying.


With its latest research, ‘Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities: Progress Update,’ the British Department of Health addresses the current challenges and possible solutions to unequal care leading to higher mortality rates amongst people with intellectual disabilities.

Following the example of Mencap, the organization that first drew attention to the topic with their report ‘Death by indifference,’ the British health department aims to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities have the same rights and access to the same health benefits as the rest of the population.

However, it seems there is still a long way to go. The report indicates that health care inequality persists, with people with intellectual disabilities having more negative experiences with medical services overall than people without intellectual disabilities. Even more concerning, the report mentions that 22% of people with intellectual disabilities were under 50 when they died, compared with 9% of people without intellectual disabilities. The reasons for this are most likely a delay in diagnosis, as well as difficulties with identifying specific needs and appropriate treatment.

The British health department has deemed this situation to be unacceptable and said it will make serious efforts to reduce premature and avoidable deaths. Solutions include stimulating local good practice, as well as putting up national initiatives such as awareness raising events and conferences.

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