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Scott Landes

Scott Landes

Portrait of Julia Finan

Julia Finan

While there is ample evidence of increased COVID-19 mortality risk among people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), research has not documented whether this higher risk resulted in increased COVID-19 mortality burden in the U.S. or whether comorbidity patterns among COVID-19 deaths are similar or distinct for people with IDD.

To determine the differences in COVID-19 mortality burden between decedents with and without IDD during the first year of the pandemic, we use 2020 US death certificate data to compare COVID-19 mortality burden and comorbidity patterns among decedents with and without IDD.

Results show that COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among decedents with IDD in 2020, compared to the 3rd leading cause among decedents without IDD. The proportion of deaths from COVID-19 was also higher for decedents with compared to without IDD. Comorbidities resulting from COVID-19 were similar among decedents with and without IDD, but there were some differences among reported pre-existing conditions, notably higher rates of hypothyroidism and seizures among decedents with IDD.