53 Million US Adults Have A Disability

2015-0730 CDC Press Release

Excerpt of press release by the Centers for Diseases Control | PR Newswire

ATLANTA, July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In the United States, one out of every five adults has a disability, according to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common functional disability type was a mobility limitation – defined as serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs — reported by one in eight adults, followed by disability in thinking and/or memory, independent living, vision, and self-care.

The researchers found that the highest percentages of people with disabilities are generally in Southern states, for example Alabama (31.5 percent), Mississippi (31.4 percent), and Tennessee (31.4 percent). The report did not determine why differences occur by state; however, states in the South tend to have some of the higher rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which may also be associated with disability.

“For the past 25 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has made a positive difference in the lives of those who have disabilities by ensuring better access to buildings, transportation, and employment. Access to preventive health care is also critically important for those with disabilities,” said Georgina Peacock, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC’s Division of Human Development and Disability.  “Many of the health issues that people with disabilities face may be addressed by making sure they have access to health promotion programs and health care services, including preventive health screenings, throughout their lifespan.”

CDC is committed to protecting the health and well-being of people with disabilities throughout their lives. Through its state-based disability and health programs and national collaborations, CDC will continue to work to reduce health disparities faced by people with disabilities by facilitating their inclusion in public health surveys, public health programs, emergency preparedness and planning efforts, and accessible health care services. To work toward this goal, CDC provides data, information and resources for public health practitioners, health care providers, and people interested in the health and well-being of people with disabilities.

Missing Data

I did not see any reference to residents of nursing homes, adult care centers, or children with disabilities. The findings may be considerably different if the data included all people who were not represented in the report. It would also be nice to see a chart, or several charts, representing disability by type, gender, and age.

Credits

Thanks to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collecting, summarizing, analyzing, and publishing the data; PR Newswire for publishing the CDC press release; Google for helping me find the press release; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible to include the picture and text in this post.

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