LETTER to the editor

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Dear Frontline editor,
Thanks for another great edition of Frontline. I am particularly interested in the article on Bone issues and would like to draw attention to this online article (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1751722214000997) which states: “A greater proportion of individuals with intellectual disability experience health problems compared to the general population. Yet individuals with intellectual disability receive comparatively lower levels of preventative healthcare, have reduced frequency of contact with general practitioners and are less likely to have health issues identified and diagnosed.”
Furthermore, ID is now linked in very many cases to underlying genetic causes. Newer diagnostic testing is revealing chromosome disorders like Áine Lawlor’s (featured in the Special Olympics article). Áine has 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and low levels of calcium and Vit D are very prevalent in this condition. Were it not for the fact that the 22q Irish support group funded a 22q expert to come here, we would never have known that this was a crucial fact for us as parents in relation to the care-management of our children.

In relation to genetic disorders:
■ Prevalence: ~ 1 in 22 people has a genetic disorder.
■ Newborns: ~ 3% have one or more significant ‘congenital anomalies’ (differences at birth more than just cosmetic)
■ 20-30% of infant deaths are due to genetic disorders.
■ 1,000 genetic disorders are associated with Intellectual Disability.
■ Most people with ID have not had a comprehensive genetic evaluation to try and determine the cause.

I hope this information is useful for other readers.
Best regards, Anne Lawlor

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