A 3-year follow-up study on cardiovascular disease and mortality in older people with intellectual disabilities

Res Dev Disabil. Jun-Jul 2016;53-54:115-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.020. Epub 2016 Feb 11.


Background: With increasing longevity and a similar or increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors (as compared to the general population), people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, prospective studies on incidence and influencing factors of cardiovascular disease and mortality are lacking.

Methods: A three year follow-up study was undertaken to study the incidence and symptoms at presentation of myocardial accident, stroke and heart failure in older people with ID. Furthermore, the predictive value of cardiovascular disease risk factors on myocardial accident, stroke and heart failure and on all-cause mortality were studied. The baseline group consisted of the 1050 participants, aged 50 years and over, in the Dutch Healthy Ageing and Intellectual Disability (HA-ID) study. Baseline measurements were conducted between November 2008 and July 2010. Three years after baseline, medical files of 790 participants were studied.

Results: Cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke and heart failure) occurred in 5.9% of the population during 3 year follow-up, and 32% of them died due to the condition. Incidence of myocardial infarction is 2.8 per 1000 personyears, for stroke 3.2 per 1000 personyears and for heart failure 12.5 per 1000 personyears. Incidence of these conditions is probably underestimated, due to atypical symptom presentation. The use of atypical antipsychotics and a history of heart failure were predictive for myocardial infarction. Heart failure was predicted by abdominal obesity, chronic kidney disease and a history of heart failure. A total of cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke or heart failure) was predicted by abdominal obesity, a history of stroke and a history of heart failure. A low body-mass index, peripheral arterial disease, chronic kidney disease and inflammation were predictive for 3-year all-cause mortality.

Conclusion: Incidence of cardiovascular disease in older people with ID is similar to that in the general population. A pro-active assessment and treatment of the presented cardiovascular disease risk factors may reduce cardiovascular disease and mortality in older people with ID.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Epidemiology; Heart failure; Intellectual disability; Myocardial infarction; Risk factors; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inflammation / epidemiology
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / epidemiology*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Thinness / epidemiology


  • Antipsychotic Agents