The relative influence of intellectual disabilities and autism on mental and general health in Scotland: a cross-sectional study of a whole country of 5.3 million children and adults

Kinnear, D. , Rydzewska, E. , Dunn, K., Hughes-McCormack, L. A., Melville, C. , Henderson, A. and Cooper, S.-A. (2019) The relative influence of intellectual disabilities and autism on mental and general health in Scotland: a cross-sectional study of a whole country of 5.3 million children and adults. BMJ Open, 9(8), e029040. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029040) (PMID:31462474)

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Abstract

Objectives: To determine the relative extent that autism and intellectual disabilities are independently associated with poor mental and general health, in children and adults. Design: Cross-sectional study. For Scotland’s population, logistic regressions investigated odds of intellectual disabilities and autism predicting mental health conditions, and poor general health, adjusted for age and gender. Participants: 1 548 819 children/youth aged 0-24 years, and 3 746 584 adults aged more than 25 years, of whom 9396/1 548 819 children/youth had intellectual disabilities (0.6%), 25 063/1 548 819 children/youth had autism (1.6%); and 16 953/3 746 584 adults had intellectual disabilities (0.5%), 6649/3 746 584 adults had autism (0.2%). These figures are based on self-report. Main outcome measures: Self-reported general health status and mental health. Results: In children/youth, intellectual disabilities (OR 7.04, 95% CI 6.30 to 7.87) and autism (OR 25.08, 95% CI 23.08 to 27.32) both independently predicted mental health conditions. In adults, intellectual disabilities (OR 3.50, 95% CI 3.20 to 3.84) and autism (OR 5.30, 95% CI 4.80 to 5.85) both independently predicted mental health conditions. In children/youth, intellectual disabilities (OR 18.34, 95% CI 17.17 to 19.58) and autism (OR 8.40, 95% CI 8.02 to 8.80) both independently predicted poor general health. In adults, intellectual disabilities (OR 7.54, 95% CI 7.02 to 8.10) and autism (OR 4.46, 95% CI 4.06 to 4.89) both independently predicted poor general health. Conclusions: Both intellectual disabilities and autism independently predict poor health, intellectual disabilities more so for general health and autism more so for mental health. Intellectual disabilities and autism are not uncommon, and due to their associated poor health, sufficient services/supports are needed. This is not just due to coexistence of these conditions or just to having intellectual disabilities, as the population with autism is independently associated with substantial health inequalities compared with the general population, across the entire life course.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hughes-Mccormack, Mrs Laura and Dunn, Mrs Kirsty and Cooper, Professor Sally-Ann and Henderson, Mrs Angela and Rydzewska, Dr Ewelina and Kinnear, Dr Deborah and Melville, Professor Craig
Authors: Kinnear, D., Rydzewska, E., Dunn, K., Hughes-McCormack, L. A., Melville, C., Henderson, A., and Cooper, S.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:27 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 9(8): e029040
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3029570Mental Health Data PathfinderDaniel SmithMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_17217HW - Mental Health and Wellbeing