About Down's Syndrome : Reducing Health Inequalities

Do you have your free copy of our Health Book?  Recent research has shown the importance of Annual Health Checks for all adults with Down’s syndrome .

An article by Dr Andre Strydom, published in December’s Lancet Psychiatry, shows that the annual health check scheme for people with learning disabilities in England makes a difference and could help to reduce health inequalities.

GPs who have signed up to the scheme were much more likely to offer their patients with learning disabilities (including individuals with Down syndrome) basic health assessments such as blood pressure, weight, hearing and vision checks, medication reviews and blood tests. The GPs were also more likely to pick up previously unrecognised problems such as thyroid disturbances and obesity, which are known issues for adults with Down syndrome. Unfortunately as many as 40% of individuals with Down syndrome were not offered the checks even if the GP practice has signed up to the scheme simply because they were not on the learning disability register (I.e. they did not have the right “code”).

This research highlights how important it is for the Government to continue funding annual health checks for people with Down’s syndrome. The Down’s Syndrome Association provides a free Healthy Book for all adults with Down

The paper is open access and freely downloadable from the Lancet.

See also an article on the BBC News website: Learning disability GP health checks ‘show results’ 3 January 2015