COVID-19 case-fatality disparities among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities: Evidence from 12 US jurisdictions

Scott D. Landes, Margaret A. Turk, David A. Ervin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: There is evidence from two US states that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at more severe risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research has not explored whether this increased risk is consistent across the US. Objective: This study compared COVID-19 case-fatality rates among people with IDD in 11 states and the District of Columbia that are publicly reporting data. Methods: Cumulative data reported through March 31 – April 13, 2021 were analyzed. Case-fatality rates and risk ratio with 95% confidence intervals for IDD settings were compared the overall case-fatality rate for the jurisdictions from Johns Hopkins’ Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 data. Results: Settings were reported as receiving any services, community or institutional residential services, or living in own/family home. Comparison of case-fatality rates between people with IDD and their respective jurisdiction populations demonstrates that case-fatality rates were consistently higher for people with IDD living in congregate residential settings (fifteen instances) and receiving 24/7 nursing services (two instances). Results were mixed for people with IDD living in their own or a family home (eight instances). Conclusions: These findings highlight that people with IDD, especially those living in residential settings, are experiencing higher case-fatality rates from COVID-19 than the general population across multiple US jurisdictions. Short-term and long-term public health interventions addressing COVID-19 risks will not be able to properly address the needs of people with IDD until all states begin reporting COVID-19 outcomes for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101116
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Case-fatality
  • Developmental disability
  • Intellectual disability
  • US states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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