Hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and the metabolic syndrome are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). In older people with intellectual disability (ID), CVD is a substantial morbidity risk. The aims of the present study, which was part of the Healthy Ageing in Intellectual Disability (HA-ID) study, were (1) to determine the prevalence of CVD risk factors in older people with ID and to compare this with the prevalence in the same-aged general population, (2) to determine how many risk factors had not been previously diagnosed, and (3) to identify correlates of CVD risk factors (gender, age, level of ID, Down syndrome, independent living, activities of daily living, mobility, instrumental activities of daily living, physical activity, use of atypical antipsychotics, central obesity), using logistic regression analyses. In this cross-sectional study, 980 people with borderline to profound ID participated. Hypertension (53%), diabetes (14%) and metabolic syndrome (45%) were present similarly as in the general Dutch population. Hypercholesterolemia was present less often (23%). Fifty percent of the people with hypertension had not been previously diagnosed with this condition. Percentages for diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and the metabolic syndrome were 45, 46 and 94 respectively. People who were more at risk for CVD risk factors were women, older people, people with obesity, people who lived more independently and people who were able to do groceries or prepare a meal independently. Policy on prevention, detection and treatment of CVD risk factors is urgently needed.
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