NHS Digital recently published a report on the health and care of individuals with learning disabilities in England for 2018-2019. The report is based on the data from 54 per cent of patients registered in England as of 1 April 2019.
Although individuals with learning disabilities often have a shorter life expectancy compared with the general population, some causes of mortality in this population are believed to be premature and preventable.
Key findings from the report are as follows:
- The GP-recorded prevalence of learning disability in the population included in the publication was 0.47 per cent.
- Individuals with a learning disability aged 0-74 years have 3.87 to 4.11 times higher likelihood of mortality between 2016-2019 than the age- and sex-matched general population.
- In 2018-2019, the prevalence of epilepsy was 26 times higher in individuals with a learning disability than would be expected based on the rates of epilepsy in the general population.
- In 2018-2019, 5.8 per cent of patients with a learning disability also had dysphagia. This represents a 3.2 per cent increase since 2014-2015.