Skip to main content

Publication, Part of

Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities, Experimental Statistics: 2018 to 2019 [PAS]

Experimental statistics, Other reports and statistics

Condition Prevalence

Life Expectancy

Based on 2018-19 data, males with a learning disability have a life expectancy at birth of 66 years. This is 14 years lower than for males in the general population.

Based on 2018-19 data, females with a learning disability have a life expectancy of 67 years. This is 17 years lower than for females in the general population.

There has been no statistically significant change in life expectancy for patients with a learning disability between 2014-15 and 2018-19.

Figure 1: Life expectancy for males and females with and without a learning disability, for 2014-15 and 2018-19.

Mortality

For the 2016-2019 period, the national standardised mortality ratio was 399, with a lower confidence limit of 387 and an upper confidence limit of 411. This means that, given uncertainty, people with a learning disability aged 0 to 74 years were between 3.87 and 4.11 times more likely to die in the period than would be expected for people in the general population in the same age and sex group.


Prevalence of Health Conditions in People with Learning Disabilities

Many health conditions occur more frequently in older people. As people with learning disabilities have a lower life expectancy, a smaller proportion of people with learning disabilities are in older age groups compared to the general population.

In order to understand the difference in the prevalence of a condition between the two groups, we calculate a standardised prevalence ratio. These compare the number of cases in people with learning disabilities to the number of cases which would be expected in a cohort of the general population of the same size and with the same age and sex breakdown.

A figure of 0.5 means the condition is half as common as expected in people with learning disabilities. A figure of 2.0 means the condition is twice as common as expected in people with learning disabilities.

In 2018-19, epilepsy was 26 times more common in people with learning disabilities than would be expected for an equivalent cohort of the general population. This is a statistically significant increase from 2017-18 data, since the error ranges of the two data points do not overlap. Note that these error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

Figure 2: The standardised prevalence ratio for epilepsy by year, from 2014-15 to 2018-19.

The standardised prevalence ratios for asthma, hypertension and non type I diabetes have all seen a statistically significant increase compared to 2017-18 data.

The line SPR = 1 is highlighted in Figure 3 as this distinguishes conditions which are more prevalent than expected in people with learning disabilities from conditions which are less prevalent than expected. Note that hypertension has gone from being less prevalent than expected in 2014-15 to being more prevalent than expected in 2018-19.

Figure 3: The standardised prevalence ratios for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, non-type I diabetes and hypertension from 2014-15 to 2018-19, including the line SPR = 1.


Last edited: 23 June 2021 3:26 pm