People with intellectual disability have significantly higher age-adjusted rates of mortality and morbidity than their non-disabled peers. While self-rated health status is commonly used as an indicator of the health status of populations of interest, few studies have explored the self-rated health of adults with intellectual disability. We undertook secondary analysis of de-identified cross-sectional data from the first waves of two contemporary UK surveys: the Life Opportunities Survey (n=37,513) and Understanding Society (n=50,976). In the Life Opportunities Survey we identified 316 participants age 16-49 (1.7% of the age-restricted sample) as having intellectual disability. In Understanding Society we identified 415 participants age 16-49 (1.5% of the age-restricted sample) as having intellectual disability. Participants with intellectual disability were significantly more likely to report having fair or worse health than their peers (Life Opportunities Survey OR=8.86 (6.54-12.01), p<0.001; Understanding Society OR=13.14 (10.65-16.21), p<0.001). However the strength of this association was significantly attenuated when risk estimates were adjusted to take account of the increased rates of exposure of participants with intellectual disability to socio-economic disadvantage and (in the Life Opportunities Survey) exposure to discrimination and violence.
Keywords: Discrimination; Health; Health disparities; Self-rated health; Socio-economic disadvantage.
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