Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability. That means they have an IQ score below 70 and other cognitive limitations that affect their communication, social, and self-care skills. COVID-19 has certainly complicated their existence — but it also has ended their lives at tragic rates. Having an intellectual disability was the highest independent risk factor for contracting COVID-19, controlling for race, ethnicity, and other variables. It was higher even than age or heart or lung problems, according to a recent paper I co-authored. Also, having an intellectual disability was second only to age for COVID-19-related deaths. The paper — which reported on more than 64 million patients at hundreds of U.S. medical centers — found that those with intellectual disabilities were six times more likely to die from COVID-19 than other members of the population.
Source/more: American Association of Medical Colleges