Mortality in persons with developmental disabilities after transfer into community care

Am J Ment Retard. 1998 May;102(6):569-81. doi: 10.1352/0895-8017(1998)102<0569:mipwdd>;2.


More than 2,000 persons with developmental disabilities have been transferred from California state institutions into community care in recent years. We investigated whether this has been accompanied by a change in mortality rates, using data on 1,878 clients moved since April 1993. Mortality rates were compared to those expected for comparable persons in institutions. Risk-adjusted mortality rates for movers exceeded institutional rates by 51%, p < .05. After removal of cancer deaths in both groups, this increased to 67%. The effect was largest shortly after the move and in the subjects who had moved most recently. The deinstitutionalization process in California appears to have resulted in a substantial increase in mortality, indicating the need to ensure continuous, consistent, and competent medical care and supervision in the community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Deinstitutionalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / mortality*
  • Male
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Time Factors