A literature review was conducted to examine mortality among people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities living in the United States and determine how research findings relate to or assist in policy development. Two questions were considered: What do the differences between earlier and more recent research mean to policy development? What does the research literature indicate about other aspects of mortality that relate to policy development? Five major limitations of mortality research as a useful tool to policy development were discussed. Recommendations were made to identify what policymakers need to do to develop an oversight mechanism and type of research needed to assist policymakers in providing appropriate services and supports to this population.

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