15 July, London: In comparison to the general population of England, people with learning impairments who have covid-19 are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital and eight times more likely to die, according to a recent study.
The study’s findings were published in the journal’ The BMJ.’
Risk were particularly high for those with severe to profound learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy.
The researchers said promt access to COVID-19 testing and healthcare is warranted for this group, and prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccination and other targeted preventive measures should be considered.
Emerging evidence has shown that people with learning disabilities are at higher risk from COVID-19 related death compared with the general population. But results from existing studies on other COVID-19 outcomes are often complicated by factors such as deprivation and underlying conditions.
A lack of clarity also exists on the increased risk of COVID-19 death deaths among people with milder learning disabilities.
To explore this further, a team of UK researchers set out to describe the risk of COVID-19 related hospital admissions and deaths among children and adults with learning disabilities in England linked to hospital admission and mortality data.
Data for 14,312,023 adults and 2,627,018 children were analysed across both waves of the COVID-19 pandemic: wave 1 and wave 2Among 90,307 adults on learning disability register, 538 had a covid-19 related hospital admission; there were 222 covid-19 related deaths and 602 non COVID deaths.
Among adults not on register 29,781 had a covid-19 related hospital admission; there were 13,737 covid-19 related deaths and 69,837 non-COVID deaths.