Ageing and health status in adults with intellectual disabilities: results of the European POMONA II study

J Intellect Dev Disabil. 2011 Mar;36(1):49-60. doi: 10.3109/13668250.2010.549464.


Background: POMONA II was a European Commission public health-funded project. The research questions in this article focus on age-specific differences relating to environmental and lifestyle factors, and the 17 medical conditions measured by the POMONA Checklist of Health Indicators (P15).

Method: The P15 was completed in a cross-sectional design for a stratified sample of 1,253 adults with ID across 14 European member states.

Results: Older people (55+) were more likely to live in larger residential homes. Rates of smoking and use of alcohol were lower than in the general population but were higher with older age. More than 60% of older adults had a sedentary lifestyle. Cataract, hearing disorder, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis/arthrosis, and osteoporosis were positively associated with advancing age; allergies and epilepsy, negatively associated.

Conclusions: Some evidence of health disparities was found for older people with ID, particularly in terms of underdiagnosed or inadequately managed preventable health conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / classification
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult