Emerging evidence on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) points to the underlying risk and burden of infectious diseases (IDs) in this population. The objective of this study was to examine the risk of ID-related emergency department (ED) visits, subsequent hospitalizations, and hospital-based mortality during ID-related visits among adults with IDD compared to those without IDD. The authors conducted a retrospective study using data from the 2016 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. The sample included 94,928 adults with IDD identified using ICD-10-CM codes, and age- and sex-matched 284,763 non-IDD adults in a 1:3 case-control ratio. A Poisson regression model was used to compare the risk of ID-related ED visits, subsequent hospitalizations, and hospital-based mortality during ID-related visits between adults with and without IDD. Covariates included sociodemographic and hospital characteristics. Results showed that adults with IDD are at a higher risk for ID-related ED visits, subsequent hospitalization, and mortality during ID-related ED visits compared to non-IDD adults. Adults with IDD continued to experience higher risks even after accounting for sociodemographic, hospital, and clinical characteristics. Septicemia and respiratory tract infections are the leading causes of ED visits, hospitalization, and mortality. This study found substantial disparities in ID-related ED visits, subsequent hospitalization, and mortality among the burdens for adults with IDD. These observations underscore the importance of integrated strategies to reduce ID-related morbidity among adults with IDD.
Keywords: developmental disabilities; emergency department; infectious diseases; intellectual disabilities.