Cohort profile: Scotland’s record-linkage e-cohorts of people with intellectual disabilities, and autistic people (SCIDA)

Sally-Ann Cooper*, Angela Henderson, Deborah Kinnear, Daniel Mackay, Michael Fleming, Gillian S Smith, Laura Anne Hughes-Mccormack, Ewelina Rydzewska, Kirsty Dunn, J P Pell, Craig Melville

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Purpose To investigate health, mortality and healthcare inequalities experienced by people with intellectual disabilities, and autistic people, and their determinants; an important step towards identifying and implementing solutions to reduce inequalities. This paper describes the cohorts, record-linkages and variables that will be used.

Participants Scotland’s Census, 2011 was used to identify Scotland’s citizens with intellectual disabilities, and autistic citizens, and representative general population samples with neither. Using Scotland’s community health index, the Census data (demography, household, employment, long-term conditions) were linked with routinely collected health, death and healthcare data: Scotland’s register of deaths, Scottish morbidity data 06 (SMR06: cancer incidence, mortality, treatments), Prescribing Information System (identifying asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; angina/congestive heart failure/hypertension; peptic ulcer/reflux; constipation; diabetes; thyroid disorder; depression; bipolar disorders; anxiety/sleep; psychosis; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; epilepsy; glaucoma), SMR01 (general/acute hospital admissions and causes, ambulatory care sensitive admissions), SMR04 (mental health admissions and causes), Scottish Care Information–Diabetes Collaboration (diabetic care quality, diabetic outcomes), national bowel screening programme and cervical screening.

Findings to date Of the whole population, 0.5% had intellectual disabilities, and 0.6% were autistic. Linkage was successful for >92%. The resultant e-cohorts include: (1) 22 538 people with intellectual disabilities (12 837 men and 9701 women), 4509 of whom are children <16 years, (2) 27 741 autistic people (21 390 men and 6351 women), 15 387 of whom are children <16 years and (3) representative general population samples with neither condition. Very good general health was reported for only 3389 (15.0%) people with intellectual disabilities, 10 510 (38.0%) autistic people, compared with 52.4% general population. Mental health conditions were reported for 4755 (21.1%) people with intellectual disabilities, 3998 (14.4%) autistic people, compared with 4.2% general population.

Future plans Analyses will determine the extent of premature mortality, causes of death, and avoidable deaths, profile of health conditions and cancers, healthcare quality and screening and determinants of mortality and healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere057230
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2022


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