Health  Vol.10 No.9 , September 2018
Osteoporosis and People with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Descriptive Examination of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing Wave 1 Results
Abstract: Background: People with Down syndrome (DS) are a high “at risk” group to develop osteoporosis. Increased morbidity associated with older age, higher prevalence of Alzheimer dementia, hypotonia, hypogonadism, and thyroid disease, are all features of DS and predispose this cohort to musculoskeletal complications. Methods: The Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) is a representative study of the aging of adults with intellectual disability in Ireland. The sample (N = 753) included 147 people with DS. Data was gathered on participants’ health status, behavioural health, health screenings and activities of daily living. The prevalence of osteoporosis and related risk factors among people with DS was specifically examined. Findings: Of the 147 participants with DS, 9.4% reported a doctor’s diagnosis of osteoporosis; a much lower figure than prevalence of risk factors would suggest. Predisposing factors identified included higher than general population rates of thyroid disease (37.4%), epilepsy (19.3%), sedentary life (51.7%) and the majority of the females reporting having experienced menopause (61%). Bone health screening was low at (8%) despite the presence of such high levels of risk factors in this population. Conclusion: Given the risk factor findings and the hidden nature of osteoporosis, underreported incidence among people with Down syndrome seems probable. Further investigations and systematic screening are required.
Cite this paper: Burke, É. , Carroll, R. , O’Dwyer, M. , Walsh, J. , McCallion, P. and McCarron, M. (2018) Osteoporosis and People with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Descriptive Examination of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing Wave 1 Results. Health, 10, 1233-1249. doi: 10.4236/health.2018.109095.

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