Adults with learning difficulties were NINE TIMES more likely to die of Covid during the first wave of the pandemic, study finds 

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  • A new study looked at over 160,000 deaths in the UK between March 2020 and June 2020
  • People with learning disabilities were 9.24 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population
  • People with autism spectrum disorder were five times more likely to die from the virus and 3.2 times more likely to have schizophrenia
  • People with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities are at greater risk for other underlying conditions, making them more likely to contract COVID

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A new study has found that adults with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities are more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population during the first wave of the pandemic.

Researchers from King’s College London in the UK looked at data on over 160,000 deaths in the UK between March 2020 and June 2020.

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They found that adults with learning difficulties were nine times more likely to die from the virus.

In addition, people with autism were five times more likely to die from COVID than the general population and three times more likely to be among those with schizophrenia.

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A new study found that people with learning disabilities were 9.24 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population (above).

People with autism spectrum disorder (above) were five times more likely to die from the virus and 3.2 times more likely to have schizophrenia

People with autism spectrum disorder (above) were five times more likely to die from the virus and 3.2 times more likely to have schizophrenia

“It was a substantial increase,” said Dr Jayati Das-Munshi, a senior lecturer in social epidemiology with King’s College London. CNN.

‘We weren’t expecting this mortality gap to improve, certainly not, but I think the extent to which it got worse was actually quite shocking.’

Previous studies have suggested that people with disabilities are at increased risk of death from COVID-19

A report from Public Health England found that people with learning disabilities are 30 times more likely to die from the coronavirus.

Another study from Syracuse University in New York found patients with Down syndrome were three times more likely to contract the virus than people with other disorders.

Experts have suggested that this may be because people with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities are at greater risk for other underlying conditions making them more likely to contract COVID.

People with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities are at greater risk for other underlying conditions, making them more likely to contract COVID

People with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities are at greater risk for other underlying conditions, making them more likely to contract COVID

Another theory is that people with disabilities who live in care homes and assisted living facilities have an increased risk of death.

for study. published in Lancet Regional Health – EuropeIn 2019 and 2020, the team looked at 167,122 deaths from a mental health service provider in London.

They looked at mortality in nine psychiatric conditions: schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, affective disorders, somatoform/neurotic disorders, personality disorders, learning disabilities, eating disorders, substance use disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, and dementia.

Researchers found that, during the first wave of the pandemic, people with learning disabilities were 9.24 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population.

People with autism spectrum disorders were five times more likely to have contracted the virus and 4.8 times more likely to be infected with those with an eating disorder.

Additionally, people with dementia were 3.8 times more likely to die from COVID and 3.2 times more likely to be among those with schizophrenia.

Das-Munshi told CNN that two-thirds of deaths among people with mental health disorders and other disabilities are due to underlying conditions, which put them at greater risk of COVID-19.

“It comes back to the issue that we really need to think about increasing access to preventive health interventions,” she said.

‘It could be anything from cancer screening to managing heart disease, offering smoking cessation, offering vaccinations, encouraging people to take up vaccination offers.’

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