Osteoporosis in people with intellectual disabilities: a review and a brief study of risk factors for osteoporosis in a community sample of people with intellectual disabilities
Article first published online: 3 DEC 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Volume 55, Issue 1, pages 53–62, January 2011
How to Cite
Srikanth, R., Cassidy, G., Joiner, C. and Teeluckdharry, S. (2011), Osteoporosis in people with intellectual disabilities: a review and a brief study of risk factors for osteoporosis in a community sample of people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55: 53–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2010.01346.x
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2010
- Accepted 28 September 2010
- bone mineral density;
- Down's syndrome;
- falls and fractures;
- intellectual disabilities;
Background The population of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is increasing and their health needs impact on primary and secondary healthcare specialities. One important aspect of their physical health is bone health as people with ID have increased risk factors associated with osteoporosis. It has been identified that this population has an increased prevalence of low bone mineral density (BMD), osteoporosis and osteopenia. The main contributory factors for low BMD are age, use of antiepileptics, immobility and diagnosis of Down's syndrome.
Methods A literature search of electronic databases was undertaken. Studies that included people with ID were reviewed for the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a community sample (n = 149) to screen for risk factors for osteoporosis.
Results The majority of studies identified increased prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia with associated low BMD. In most studies individuals with ID presented with more than two risk factors. In our survey, we identified an increased prevalence of risk factors associated with osteoporosis, namely use of antiepileptics (64%), immobility (23%), history of falls (20%) and fractures (11%). We found that 54% of our sample fulfilled the criteria for screening. Of those who went on to have scans, 55% had osteoporosis and 33% had osteopenia.
Conclusion We conclude that we should be screening for the risk factors associated with low BMD in adults with ID. If these are present further investigations should take place and those found to have osteoporosis and osteopenia should have treatment at an early stage to prevent morbidity and improve their quality of life.