Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Changing trends in life expectancy in intellectual disability over time

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-04-20, 16:33 authored by E Dolan, J Lane, G Hillis, Norman DelantyNorman Delanty
Decreased life expectancy (LE) has historically been found among people with intellectual disability (ID) compared to the general population. Several recent studies have looked into ageing and cause of death in ID. Results of many of these studies suggest that, although LE in ID remains lower than the general population, it has increased across many Western societies in recent decades. Increases in LE in the general and ID populations appear to follow similar trends. Some major causes of mortality in ID are similar to the general population, and therefore may be amenable to similar preventative healthcare interventions. In this article, we have outlined possible reasons for improved LE in ID, and potential areas that may require further intervention. However, more detailed studies on mortality in ID may provide more accurate insight into areas requiring intervention in ID populations.



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Published Citation

Dolan E, Lane J, Hillis G, Delanty N. Changing trends in life expectancy in intellectual disability over time. Irish Medical Journal. 2019;112(9):1006.

Publication Date

October 2019

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)