New Data on Disability

More than one-fifth report disability

When the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System added five functional disability types to a survey, the answers people gave were interesting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis of the data revealed that more than one-fifth (22.2%) of US adults reported having a disability, the most common being mobility issues. Other findings showed:

•    24.4% of women reported having a disability vs. 19.8% of the men surveyed
•    Disabilities were most prevalent in those age 45–64 and in people 65 and over
•    Economic status is correlated with disability—50% of adults earning < $15,000 annually had a disability compared with 10.8% of those earning > $50,000
•    Unemployed adults were more than twice as likely to report a disability
•    Disabilities were highest in blacks, then Hispanics, followed by whites

The study concluded that with this information, state health programs can target at-risk groups, taking into account age, education level, economic status and ethnicity.