Poor health for older disabled people
MORE people with an intellectual disability are living to old age than ever before - but growing numbers are also developing dementia, some in their 40s, a major study has revealed.
Researchers at Trinity College found in the three years since a previous study was carried out in 2010 the prevalence of dementia among people with Down Syndrome has almost doubled from 15.8pc to 29.9pc.
The average onset of the disease is 55 years with some cases diagnosed in their early 40s, according to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. The study looks at the physical well-being and mental health of more than 30,000 people with an intellectual disability.
It also found reported rates of osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease, doubled since the first survey to 16pc.
Some 70pc were doing little exercise and 67pc of the group were either overweight or obese.
There was an almost 50pc increase in the prevalence of cataracts since the first survey while the rates of eye disease, or macular degeneration, almost doubled, higher than for the general population.
By contrast rates of high blood pressure were more than 50pc lower for people with intellectual disability than for the general population. The rates of heart attack were three times lower.