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Physical Health

  • Participants continued to positively appraise their own overall health.

  • There was a noted increase in chronic health conditions between Wave 1 and Wave 3.

  • Doctor’s diagnosis of osteoporosis at 21% increased three fold since Wave 1; however remained lower than that objectively measured at 42% in Wave 2 of IDS-TILDA.

  • There was a large increase in reported diagnosis of constipation from 17.3% in Wave 1 to 43.5% in Wave 3, with women presenting with higher prevalence (48.8%) compared to men (36.8%).

  • Objectively measured overweight and obesity increased from 66% in Wave 2 to 79.7% in Wave 3 and is now similar to rates reported by TILDA for the general population.

  • Despite these increases, 63.7% considered themselves just the right weight.

  • Using waist circumference as an indicator of risk for metabolic conditions, 74.9% of participants in IDS-TILDA were at increased risk compared to 54% in the general ageing population.

  • Cholesterol levels remained lower than TILDA findings for the general ageing population at 36.5% versus 41%. However, the results IDS-TILDA report are from participants’ files and not objectively measured as in TILDA.

  • Despite this, prevalence of hypertension continued to be relatively stable with prevalence at Wave 3 of 18.7% compared to 16% in Wave 1 and also continued to be lower than the 40% level reported by TILDA.

  • Falls remained high at 27%, with 28.5% reporting ≥2 fall and 12.5% reporting injurious falls.

  • Polypharmacy remained high in Wave 3 at 39.5% and excessive polypharmacy at 32.7% with 47.4% of those taking 3-4 medications at Wave 2 having progressed to taking 5-9 medications (polypharmacy) at Wave 3.

  • In Wave 3, 28.3% (n=171/603) of participants reported that they had no teeth at all. This represented an increase of 3% since Wave 1. More concerning was that 67.8% of IDS-TILDA Wave 3 participants with tooth loss did not receive prosthetic dentures compared with 5.3% of participants without teeth found in TILDA’s Wave 3.

  • Prevalence of eye disease rose to 19.5%, with cataracts the most prevalent eye disease at 15.9%, with a higher prevalence in people with Down syndrome including at younger ages.

  • Overall, there was an incidence of 4.7% of dementia (n=27) between Waves 2 and 3 in IDSTILDA.

  • In Wave 3, 35.5% of people with Down syndrome had a doctor’s diagnosis of dementia, which rose from 15.6% in Wave 1, and there was further incidence of 22.5% between Waves 2 and 3.

  • Dementia screening within the last two years rose from 14.5% in Wave 1 to 30.5% in Wave 3 overall and from 13.9% in Wave 1 to 61.4% in people with Down syndrome.