Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Risk for Severe COVID-19 Outcomes

January 31, 2022

Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders Had Longer Hospital Stays 

According to a new analysis published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes compared to patients without IDD. The study investigated hospitalized COVID-19 patients, with IDD and without, between March 2020 and June 2021 from over 900 hospitals. IDD included intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other intellectual disabilities. Outcomes included intensive care unit (ICU) admission, invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), 30-day readmission, mortality and length of stay (LOS). Among the analyzed 643,765 COVID-19 patients, those with any IDD were at significantly greater risk of at least one severe outcome, 30-day readmission, or longer LOS. Patients with Down syndrome had the greatest odds of ICU admission, IMV, and mortality. Patients with ASD and those with Down syndrome both had a 40% longer LOS. Overall, patients with IDD had a 23% increased odds of 30-day readmission. The study’s authors call for more research to identify mechanisms that may be driving the risk for severe outcomes in this vulnerable population.


Original Study 

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