The World Health Organization sees health disparities as reflecting problems inherent in the organic health status between and within population groups (as applied to both health inequities and health inequalities), and sees this notion as applying to a gamut of health issues confronting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Adults with such conditions may experience greater vulnerability to secondary conditions, co-morbid conditions, and age-related conditions; engage in health-risk behaviors and have higher rates of premature death; and be disadvantaged in the normal dialogue with health care providers. Extant disparities affecting adults with intellectual disability can stem from adverse hospital experiences, barriers in access to critical health services, inadequate long-term care management, over- and inappropriate medicating, as well as a lack of skills and knowledge in medically treating adults with life-long disabilities. This text tackles these issues and adds a corrective breadth and depth to the armamentarium on adult health issues for practitioners, clinicians, policy makers, family members, and persons with disability.
KeywordsChronic conditions Health disparities Health policy Intellectual disability Prevention
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