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Eric Emerson

Health inequalities and people with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities are much more likely to have poor health than other people. We also know quite a lot about why this happens.

We have produced a several reports summarising what we know about this. The most recent report was brought up to date this summer and includes a special focus on children with learning disabilities. We have also produced a recent update of our advice for people commissioning services.

2015 Report on the determinants of health inequities experienced by children with learning disabilities.

The 2015 report summarised current scientific knowledge about the determinants of health inequities experienced by children with learning disabilities in the UK.

The existing evidence and new analyses presented in this report suggests that, when compared with their non-disabled peers, children with learning disabilities are:

  • less likely to have been breastfed at all or breastfed exclusively
  • more likely to live in rented housing, overcrowded housing, housing in a poor state of repair and housing that was too cold in winter
  • more likely to be exposed to tobacco smoke
  • at increased risk of exposure to violence, including bullying, physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect
  • less likely to have a close relationship with their mother
  • more likely to be exposed to inconsistent and harsh parenting and more chaotic family environments
  • more likely to be exposed to a greater number and wider range of potentially adverse life events

Recommendations targeted at national and local government are included in the report and focus on three key actions: reducing child poverty; reducing exposure to specific hazards; and building resilience.

2012 report - focus on people who show challenging behaviours

In addition to summarising the current evidence about the extent, nature and determinants of health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities in the UK, the 2012 report included a more detailed look at evidence relating to the health of people who show challenging behaviours. 2012 report

2011 reports - Focus on the needs of children

Health Inequalities & People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2011
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Health Inequalities and People with Learning Disabilities in the UK 2011. Implications and actions for commissioners. Evidence into practice report no. 1 (revised)
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2010 reports

In 2010 we produced a report for people who commission or provide services for people with learning disabilities. We also produced

  • a one-page summary of this for professionals and family carers,
  • a one page accessible summary for people with learning disabilities,
  • a briefing for GP Commissioning Consortia and PCTs on practical commissioning actions, and
  • an easy read version of the Evidence into Practice report.
Health Inequalities and People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2010

IHAL 2010-3

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Health Inequalities & People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2010 Summary
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Health 2010 Summary For People With Learning Disabilities EASY READ version
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Health Inequalities and People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2010 - Implications and actions for commissioners. Evidence into practice report No. 1
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Health Inequalities and People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2010 EASY READ

This is the easy read version of the Health Inequalities Evidence into Practice report

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