Diabetes among adults with cognitive limitations compared to individuals with no cognitive disabilities

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2011 Jun;49(3):141-54. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-49.2.141.


Using a retrospective analysis of data from the 2006 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS), we assessed the health status of working-age adults with cognitive limitations in comparison to adults with no disability (unweighted N = 27,116; weighted N = 240,343,457). Adults with cognitive limitations had a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes than did adults with no disability (19.4% vs. 3.8%, respectively) and a significantly higher prevalence of six other major chronic conditions. In addition, individuals with cognitive limitations and diabetes were significantly more likely to have multiple (four or more) chronic illnesses. The health disparities we found in this study demonstrate the need to improve disease prevention and education efforts for individuals with cognitive limitations and their health care providers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence