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Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are the least-studied population of adults with diabetes. A report published in Disability and Health Journal provides an analysis of disparities in diabetes management among this population in five U.S. states.

This study specifically focuses on adults who satisfy three conditions: they have an intellectual or developmental disability, they have diabetes, and they are solely insured by Medicaid. The study looked at members of this population in five states: Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and South Carolina.

The data used for this study came from Medicaid in 2012. There were four distinct care measures used to determine the quality of medical care received by those analyzed in the study, which allowed for comparison of specific care measures between those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the rest of the general population.

These care measures were compared using bivariate analysis. For individuals with IDD and diabetes, logistic regression was used for each state with predictors of age, IDD subgroup, sex, and specialist care. 

Among the 308,804 adults, 6229 (2%) had some form of intellectual or developmental disorder. The results and comparison according to the four care measures used in the analysis varied from state to state, but overall adherence rates per state ranged from 16.6% to 28.5% of the population.

Meta-analysis further showed that visiting a specialist within the past year strongly correlated with receiving all four components of diabetes care. Although the study does not offer a specific prescriptive measure to improve diabetes management in those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it does underscore the value of specialist care in improving the quality of care available to this population [1].

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[1] Lu, Z., Cogan, L., McDermott, S., Lauer, E., Lindner, S., Tracy, K., & Momany, E. T. (2020). Disparities in diabetes management among medicaid recipients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD): Evidence from five U.S. states. Disability and Health Journal, 13(2), 100880. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2019.100880