Chronic Respiratory Disorders and Their Treatment among Older People with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder in Comparison with the General Population

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Respiratory disorders are common among people with intellectual disabilities (ID). However, few studies have investigated these disorders among older people with ID. We identified 7936 people, aged 55+ years, with ID and a reference cohort from the general population. Data on diagnoses of chronic respiratory disorders, with a focus on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), were collected, as was information on health care visits due to such disorders. We also added data on the prescription of drugs for obstructive airway diseases. Whereas the risk of having at least one diagnosis of asthma during the study period was similar in the two cohorts, people with ID were less likely than the general population to have been diagnosed with COPD. The same was found for health care visits due to asthma and COPD, respectively. The patterns of drug prescription were similar among people with ID and the general population, with the exception of adrenergics for systemic use, which were more commonly prescribed to people with ID. Thus, older people with ID do not seem to have an increased risk of asthma or COPD. Moreover, the indications are that when diagnosed with any of these disorders, they receive treatment adapted to their particular needs.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number3
Early online date2017 Aug 1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

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