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1 In 4 U.S. Adults Has A Disability, CDC Says
CBS, August 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm
New government research finds 61 million U.S. adults – about 1 in 4
Americans – have a disability that
impacts a major part of their life.
According to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
the most common
disability type, mobility, affects 1 in 7 adults. With age, disability
becomes more common, affecting
approximately 2 in 5 adults age 65 and older.
The most common type of disability in younger adults is cognitive
“At some point in their lives, most people will either have a disability or
know someone who has one,”
Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and
said in a statement.
“Learning more about people with disabilities in the United States can help
us better understand and
meet their health needs.”
Researchers analyzed information from a national database and looked at six
types of disability:
.Mobility (serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs)
.Cognition (serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making
.Hearing (serious difficulty hearing)
.Vision (serious difficulty seeing)
.Independent living (difficulty doing errands alone)
.Self-care (difficulty dressing or bathing)
After mobility disability, the next most common disability types were
cognition, independent living,
hearing, vision and self-care.
The researchers found women and non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives
are more likely to
They also observed geographic and socioeconomic differences. Adults living
in the South Census region
of the United States are more likely to have a disability, the report found.
Additionally, the percentage of adults with disability increased as income
decreased. In fact, mobility
disability is nearly five times as common for
45- to 64-year olds living below the poverty level compared to those whose
income is twice the poverty
The report also highlights the importance of access to health care is to
people with disabilities. In
general, the researchers note that adults 65 years and older with
disabilities are more likely to have
health insurance coverage, a primary doctor, and receive a routine health
checkup during the previous
12 months, compared to middle-aged and younger adults with disabilities.
Adults with vision disability reported the least access to health care,
while those with self-care disability
reported the most access to care.
“People with disabilities will benefit from care coordination and better
access to health care and the
health services they need, so that they adopt healthy behaviors and have
better health,” said Georgina
Peacock, M.D., M.P.H., Director of CDC’s Division of Human Development and
“Research showing how many people have a disability and differences in their
access to health care can
guide efforts by health care providers and public health practitioners to
improve access to care for
people with disabilities.”