Triple Jeopardy: Disabled People and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Seketi, Queen E.
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People with disabilities have been differentially affected by COVID-19 because of three factors: the increased risk of poor outcomes from the disease itself, reduced access to routine health care and rehabilitation, and the adverse social impacts of efforts to mitigate the pandemic. 10 years ago, WHO's World Report on Disability noted that people with disabilities were more likely to be older, poorer, experience comorbidities, and be female.1 Older age, deprivation, and comorbidities are also associated with increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.2 Risk of death from COVID-19 between Jan 24 and Nov 30, 2020, in England was 3·1 times greater for men with disabilities and 3·5 times greater for women with disabilities than for men and women without disabilities.3 People with intellectual disabilities living in congregate residential settings, relevant mainly to high-income settings, had a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than people without disabilities.4, 5 But even in household settings,6 people with intellectual disability have an increased risk of COVID-19 death.7