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Prevalence of Mental Health Conditions Among 6078 Individuals with Down Syndrome in the United States

January 2022 | Rivelli et al. - Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews (2022)


Findings from a recent study of the largest documented cohort of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) in the United States described prevalence of common disease conditions and strongly suggested significant disparity in mental health conditions among these individuals as compared with age- and sex-matched individuals without DS. The retrospective, descriptive study reported herein is a follow-up to document prevalence of 58 mental health conditions across 28 years of data from 6078 individuals with DS and 30,326 age- and sex-matched controls. Patient data were abstracted from electronic medical records within a large integrated health system.

In general, individuals with DS had higher prevalence of mood disorders (including depression); anxiety disorders (including obsessive-compulsive disorder); schizophrenia; psychosis (including hallucinations); pseudobulbar affect; personality disorder; dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease); mental disorder due to physiologic causes; conduct disorder; tic disorder; and impulse control disorder. Conversely, the DS cohort experienced lower prevalence of bipolar I disorder; generalized anxiety, panic, phobic, and posttraumatic stress disorders; substance use disorders (including alcohol, opioid, cannabis, cocaine, and nicotine disorders); and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Prevalence of many mental health conditions in the setting of DS vastly differs from comparable individuals without DS. These findings delineate a heretofore unclear jumping-off point for ongoing research.

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