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February 28, 1972

Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease in the Retarded

Author Affiliations

From the Rainier School, Buckley, Wash, and the Department of Pediatrics and the Child Development and Mental Retardation Center, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

JAMA. 1972;219(9):1171-1175. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350019005

The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in 453 subjects admitted consecutively to a state school for the retarded was 9%. All but three of the 41 subjects who had cardiovascular disease had congenital heart disease. The population contained 76 with Down's syndrome, 26% (20) of whom had heart disease. Of those who did not have Down's syndrome, 5.6% (21) had heart disease; this is approximately 25 times the rate in the normal population. There was a surprisingly high prevalence of diseases of the aortic valve or ascending aorta; 44% (18) of those with cardiovascular disease had this type.