Risk of death as a person with intellectual disability


  • People with intellectual disability are at significantly greater risk of premature death than people without disability. Preventable deaths in young adults with mild disability were mainly due (55%) to epilepsy.

Why this matters

  • Intellectual disability is defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder resulting in limited intellectual ability and adaptive functioning. Impairment is typically permanent, and people will require lifelong support.

  • It has been reported that people with intellectual disability have poor physical and mental health compared to the general population, and possibly a shorter life expectancy by up to two decades. A comprehensive investigation of mortality in people with intellectual disability is warranted.