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Monday, June 8, 2020

Intellectual and Developmental Disability and COVID-19

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their families. Those challenges get far more intense during disasters.  And coronavirus is proving to be the biggest disaster of all.

Despite possibly 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.

To compare COVID-19 trends among people with and without IDD, overall and stratified by age.

Data from the TriNetX COVID-19 Research Network platform was used to identify COVID-19 patients. Analysis focused on trends in comorbidities, number of cases, number of deaths, and case-fatality rate among patients with and without IDD who had a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 through May 14, 2020.

People with IDD had higher prevalence of specific comorbidities associated with poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Distinct age-related differences in COVID-19 trends were present among those with IDD, with a higher concentration of COVID-19 cases at younger ages. In addition, while the overall case-fatality rate was similar for those with IDD (5.1%) and without IDD (5.4%), these rates differed by age: ages ≤17 – IDD 1.6%, without IDD.
Though of concern for all individuals, COVID-19 appears to present a greater risk to people with IDD, especially at younger ages. Future research should seek to document COVID-19 trends among people with IDD, with particular attention to age related trends.