Difference in Healthcare Usage, Pharmacy Prescriptions, and Healthcare Cost for Special Olympic Athletes Compared to Non‐athletes with Intellectual Disabilities

Source: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities – Wiley Online Library

First published: 30 September 2020



Examine healthcare usage, pharmacy prescriptions and healthcare cost among people with Intellectual Disability (ID) who participate in Special Olympics (SO) compared to people with ID who do not participate in SO. In addition, a subanalysis was completed to compare SO athletes who participated in the Healthy Athlete program to those who had not.


Ten years of data were extracted based on active claim and identification. Final analyses included non‐SO participants and SOWI athletes for healthcare and pharmacy.


SOWI athletes who participated in the Healthy Athlete program had significantly lower healthcare and pharmacy usage, and cost than SOWI athletes who did not participate controlling for race, ethnicity, and age.


Public health programs may have variable levels of effectiveness when addressing health disparities for people with ID.

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