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Friday, September 25, 2015

Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults in U.S. - CDC 2015 Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released findings on the prevalence of disability among U.S. adults. The report estimates that over 53 million adults in the U.S., over 22% of the population, have a disability pertaining to vision, cognition, mobility, self-care, or independent living. The report does not include estimates on people with hearing impairments or children under the age of 18. The estimates are based on the CDC's 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual state-based phone survey.

Understanding the prevalence of disability is important for public health programs to be able to address the needs of persons with disabilities. Beginning in 2013, to measure disability prevalence by functional type, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), added five questions* to identify disability in vision, cognition, mobility, self-care, and independent living.† CDC analyzed data from the 2013 BRFSS to assess overall prevalence of any disability, as well as specific types of disability among noninstitutionalized U.S. adults. Across all states, disabilities in mobility and cognition were the most frequently reported types. State-level prevalence of each disability type ranged from 2.7% to 8.1% (vision); 6.9% to 16.8% (cognition); 8.5% to 20.7% (mobility); 1.9% to 6.2% (self-care) and 4.2% to 10.8% (independent living). A higher prevalence of any disability was generally seen among adults living in states in the South and among women (24.4%) compared with men (19.8%). Prevalences of any disability and disability in mobility were higher among older age groups. These are the first data on functional disability types available in a state-based health survey. This information can help public health programs identify the prevalence of and demographic characteristics associated with different disability types among U.S. adults and better target appropriate interventions to reduce health disparities.

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