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Keywords:

  • intellectual disability;
  • frailty;
  • prevalence

Objectives

To obtain first insight into prevalence and correlates of frailty in older people with intellectual disability (ID).

Design

Population-based cross-sectional study in persons using formal ID services.

Setting

Three Dutch care provider services.

Participants

Eight hundred forty-eight individuals with borderline to profound ID aged 50 and older participating in the Healthy Ageing and Intellectual Disability (HA-ID) Study.

Measurements

All participants underwent an extensive health examination. Frailty was diagnosed according to Cardiovascular Health Study criteria. Associations between frailty and participant characteristics were investigated using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results

Prevalence of frailty was 11% at age 50 to 64 and 18% at age 65 and older. Age, Down syndrome, dementia, motor disability, and severe ID were significantly associated with frailty, but only motor disability had a unique association with frailty. In a regression model with these variables, 25% of the variance of frailty was explained.

Conclusion

At age 50 to 64, prevalence of frailty is as high as in the general population aged 65 and older (7–9%), with a further increase after the age of 65. Motor disability only partially explains frailty. Future studies should address health outcomes, causes, and prevention of frailty in this population.