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Better access to health care helps people with Down syndrome live longer

Better access to health care helps people with Down syndrome live longer

More and more people with Down syndrome are surviving to older ages

Although the Americans are with Down’s syndrome If you have critical support in Medicaid insurance, your publicly funded insurance program will have to respond To the growing number of elderly people with This disease, researchers say.

“There are also more people with Down Syndrome To survive to older ages, the Medicaid system must be prepared to support this population This is a personal, sensible and comprehensive report,” said the co-author of a recent public report at the JAMA Health Forum review, Eric Rubenstein, professor of epidemiology at the Salud Public Library of the Boston University, and a prensa comunicado. the school.

The study’s authors pointed this out Life expectancy has increased significantly for people with Down syndrome in the United States. Going from a median age of 4 years in the 1950s to 57 years in 2019. The majority of this population is at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia and other chronic health conditions as they age.

To learn how Americans with Down syndrome use Medicaid services, The research team studied more than 120,000 adults suffering from this genetic condition. It’s rare for people with Down syndrome to work full time, so the Medicaid analysis accounts for almost all people with the condition, Rubinstein explained.

For the study, researchers used federal health data to examine Medicaid enrollment and health care utilization and costs. also 1.2 million adults with intellectual disabilities but not Down syndrome, And 6 million adults without diagnosed developmental disabilities, during the period from 2011 to 2019.

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For people with Down syndrome, the average Medicaid enrollment was eight years and costs Medical care was approximately four times higher than that for people without developmental disabilitiesThe results showed. The researchers did not find any fundamental differences in these measurements between individuals with Down syndrome and those with various intellectual disabilities.

the Most adults with Down syndrome are automatically enrolled in Medicaid through Social Security. Safety net insurance program, so you’re less likely to lose your coverage.

However, the study showed that Asian, African American, Native American, and Pacific Islander adults with Down syndrome have lower Medicaid claims and costs than their white counterparts.

This suggests that barriers to health care still exist, the authors said. “In our work, we see higher costs and claims among white enrollees, but fewer hospitalized patients and fewer chronic conditions,” Rubinstein said.

“We believe this indicates that white enrollees have better access to care, receive more preventive health services, and receive additional Medicaid benefits, such as waivers for home and community-based services,” the Boston University School of Public Health expert added.

* Kara Morris. Health Day Reporters © The New York Times 2023