Health Disparities for Disabled Examined

Disabled citizens have poorer health status than minorities

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Those who experience the poorest health are also disadvantaged in other ways as well. A recent report is putting a microscope to the general health of the disabled.

"Health Disparities Chart Book and Disability and Racial and Ethnic Status in the United States" compares the health of people with disabilities to those with who are in designated minority groups.

"The disabled also have greater health problems."

Charles Drum, IOD director and report co-author reports that the research comparing those with disabilities' health consequences with people from ethnic groups is quite thin. That said, any research that has been done always documents that people with disabilities have significantly poorer health than the general population.

More pointedly, they experience a worse health status, chronic conditions and premature deaths. Findings in this report include:

  • Disabled people have the highest prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Compared to groups that are designated minorities like Hispanics, American Indians/Eskimos and blacks, those with disabilities have the highest incidence of self-reporting that their health is fair or poor. (Disabled 40 percent, Hispanics 23 percent, American Indians/Eskimos 22 percent, blacks 18 percent and Asians eight percent.
  • People with disabilities are not recognized as a minority group. If they were, they would be the largest in the United States at 19 percent of the population were a formally recognized minority group, at 19% of the population, they would be the largest minority group in the United States.

"Health Disparities Chart Book and Disability and Racial and Ethnic Status in the United States" is available online at

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 26, 2011
Last Updated:
August 29, 2011