CDC: 25% Of Adults Have Life-Impacting Disability

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in four adults report having a disability that impacts major life activities - "the most dominant one affecting mobility," reports UPI

The CDC measured six types of disability; mobility, cognition, hearing, vision, independent living and self-care, using data from 458,811 adults who participated in the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. 

The report reveals that disability is more common among women, non-Hispanic American Indians / Alaska Natives, low-income adults, and those living in the South Census region of the US

Disability affects about 41 percent of those age 65 and older, compared with younger adults at 16.6 percent and middle age people at 28.6 percent. Overall, 25.7 percent of participants reported any disability. -UPI

"At some point in their lives, most people will either have a disability or know someone who has a one," said Dr. Coleen Boyle, director of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "Learning more about people with disabilities in the United States can help us better understand and meet their health needs."

The study also found that adult disability rates increase as income decreases.

Among the younger age groups (18-44 years old), the most common type of disability is cognative, at 10.6%. Mobility was most prevalent among middle-aged respondants (45-64 years old) at 18.1%, as well as older people (65+) at 26.9%. 

Specifically, mobility disability is nearly five times as common among middle-aged people -- 45 to 64 years old -- living below the poverty level compared with those whose income is twice that level.

Hearing, mobility and independent living disabilities were higher among older adults. -UPI

The study also reveals that more adults over 65-years-old with disabilities are covered by health insurance, have a primary doctor and get routine checkups, vs. middle-aged and younger adults with disabilities. 98% of Americans have access to Medicare coverage by the age of 65, however older adults reporting self-care disabilities come under increased financial strain due to higher medical needs. 

"People with disabilities will benefit from care coordination and better access to healthcare and the health services they need, so that they adopt healthy behaviors and have better health," said Dr. Georgina Peacock, director of CDC's Division of Human Development and Disability. "Research showing how many people have a disability and differences in their access to healthcare can guide efforts by healthcare providers and public health practitioners to improve access to care for people with disabilities."