East London doctor Stan Shepherd reveals the shocking extent of health problems among competitors at the last Special Olympics:
“At the most recent Special Olympics World Games in Athens last summer, 3,751 athletes from 160 countries received free health screenings. Our findings were shocking. Some 66% failed eye screening, 22% failed hearing screening, 46% had untreated dental decay, 69% had gait abnormalities, 20% needed a follow-up hearing test, 15% needed urgent dental treatment, 8% had raised blood pressure and needed urgent followup.
And these are elite athletes who travelled internationally to a global sports competition. If they cannot receive proper care for their teeth, we can only fear for their undetected or untreated diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or kidney disease.”
This is so shocking. But then again, I guess it’s not. It’s well researched and known that people with learning disabilities and/or mental illness are less likely to benefit from public health screening programmes and have a lower life expectancy.
You can absolutely bet that the rates of these health problems in the Olympic athlete population were miniscule. Shameful.
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- theglitterkeepsfalling said: its very hard for me to go to the GP and Dentist for check ups. I manage it but can easily see that people just don’t go and live in pain or with health problems :( they hardly ever do home visits either! I went for years without check ups
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