Psychiatric diagnoses in older people with intellectual disability in comparison with the general population a register study

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


AIMS: To describe the occurrence of psychiatric diagnoses in a specialist care setting in older people with intellectual disability (ID) in relation to those found in the same age group in the general population.

METHOD: A cohort of people with ID (n = 7936), aged 55 years or more in 2012, was identified, as was an age and sex-matched cohort from the general population (n = 7936). Information regarding psychiatric diagnoses during 2002-2012 was collected from the National Patient Register, which contains records from all inpatient care episodes and outpatient specialist visits in Sweden. The mean age at the start of data collection (i.e. January 1st, 2002) was 53 years (range 44-85 years).

RESULTS: Seventeen per cent (n = 1382) of the people in the ID cohort had at least one psychiatric diagnosis recorded during the study period. The corresponding number in the general population cohort was 10% (n = 817), which translates to an odds ratio (OR) of 1.84. The diagnoses recorded for the largest number of people in the ID cohort were 'other' (i.e. not included in any of the diagnostic groups) psychiatric diagnoses (10% of the cohort had at least one such diagnosis recorded) and affective disorders (7%). In the general population cohort, the most common diagnoses were affective disorders (4%) and alcohol/substance-abuse-related disorders (4%). An increased odds of having at least one diagnosis was found for all investigated diagnoses except for alcohol/substance-abuse-related disorders (OR = 0.56). The highest odds for the ID cohort was found for diagnosis of psychotic disorder (OR = 10.4) followed by attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (OR = 3.81), dementia (OR = 2.71), personality disorder (OR = 2.67), affective disorder (OR = 1.74) and anxiety disorder (OR = 1.36). People with ID also had an increased odds of psychiatric diagnoses not included in any of these groups (OR = 8.02). The percentage of people with ID who had at least one diagnosis recorded during the study period decreased from more than 30% among those aged 55-59 years in 2012 (i.e. born 1953-1957) to approximately 20% among those aged 75+ years in 2012 (i.e. born in or before 1937).

CONCLUSIONS: Older people with ID seem to be more likely to have psychiatric diagnoses in inpatient or outpatient specialist care than their peers in the general population. If this is an effect of different disorder prevalence, diagnostic difficulties or differences in health care availability remains unknown. More research is needed to understand the diagnostic and treatment challenges of psychiatric disorders in this vulnerable group.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Malmö Stad
  • Göteborgs universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Psykiatri
  • Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktning


Sidor (från-till)479-491
TidskriftEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
Utgåva nummer5
Tidigt onlinedatum2017 feb 23
StatusPublished - 2018 jan
Peer review utfördJa

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Anna Axmon, Magnus Sandberg & Gerd Ahlström, 2017 maj 22, I : BMC Psychiatry. 17, 1, 192.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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Gerd Ahlström, Jimmie Kristensson, Magnus Sandberg, Anna Axmon, Petra Björne, Lena Nylander, Barry Karlsson, Nawi Ng, Magnus Tideman & Eva Flygare Wallen

Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (Forte), Stiftelsen Ragnhild och Einar Lundströms Minne


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