Osteoporosis in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Authors: Louis R. Petrone, MD


The medical care of adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) originates in primary care physicians’ offices. With the move toward the deinstitutionalization of these individuals in the 1970s and 1980s and the increasing longevity of this population, more adults with disabilities are living in the community. Primary care providers need to be comfortable with treating the conditions of these individuals with special needs. Individuals with ID are at higher than average risk for many chronic conditions. One condition that is often overlooked or underdiagnosed is osteoporosis. Much research regarding osteoporosis has been conducted in postmenopausal women and other high-risk groups; however, gaps remain in our understanding of the evaluation and treatment of osteoporosis in adults with ID.

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