Skip to main content

Potential impacts of COVID-19 on individuals with intellectual and developmental disability

Dalton Stevens, a 2015 graduate of sociology, and his colleague, Scott D. Landes, published a very timely research brief in the Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, Issue Number 20, April 14, 2020.  The Key Findings of the brief, Potential Impacts of COVID-19 on Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disability: A Call for Accurate Cause of Death Reporting, are listed as follows:

• COVID-19 deaths will likely be more prevalent among those with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD).
• Death rates from pneumonia are between 2.2 times and 5.8 times higher among individuals with an IDD than among those without IDD, giving us a clear warning of the severity of COVID-19 among people with IDD.
• Underestimation of COVID-19 deaths is potentially more severe for those with IDD.
• Cause of death certifiers must be attentive to accurately recording IDD on the death certificate.

The complete brief is available here:


Stevens is a Ph.D. candidate at Syracuse University: