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Prevalence and Most Common Causes of Disability Among Adults --- United States, 2005

Since 1994, disability-related costs for medical care and lost productivity have exceeded an estimated $300 billion annually in the United States (1). To update previous reports on the prevalence and most common causes of disability among adults (2), CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed the most recent data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). This report summarizes the findings of that analysis, which indicated that the prevalence of disability in 2005 (21.8%) remained unchanged from 1999 (22.0%); however, because of the aging of the population, particularly the large group born during 1946--1964 ("baby boomers"), the estimated absolute number of persons reporting a disability increased 7.7%, from 44.1 to 47.5 million. The three most common causes of disability continued to be arthritis or rheumatism (affecting an estimated 8.6 million persons), back or spine problems (7.6 million), and heart trouble (3.0 million). Women (24.4%) had a significantly higher prevalence of disability compared with men (19.1%) at all ages. For both sexes, the prevalence of disability doubled in successive age groups (18--44 years, 11.0%; 45--64 years, 23.9%; and ≥65 years, 51.8%). The number of adults reporting a disability likely will increase, along with the need for appropriate medical and public health services, as more persons enter the highest risk age group (≥65 years). To accommodate the expected increase in demand for disability-related medical and public health services, expanding the reach of effective strategies and interventions aimed at preventing progression to disability and improving disability management in the population is necessary.

SIPP is a longitudinal panel survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau that represents the civilian noninstitutionalized population living in the United States and excludes persons living in institutions (e.g., nursing homes). The sampling frame for SIPP selection is based on the Census Bureau's Master Address File of every address in the United States and is stratified by socioeconomic and demographic characteristics from the decennial census. All members of selected households are invited to participate voluntarily in a SIPP panel. Panels are active for 2.5--4 years, during which computer-assisted in-person interviews are conducted in 4-month intervals (waves) that include supplemental questionnaires (topic modules).

Data used for this report are cross-sectional findings from the Wave 5 disability topical module (fielded June--September 2005) of the 2004 SIPP panel and are the most recent available disability data (3). During Wave 5, a total of 70,312 persons aged ≥18 years from 37,400 households (representing 82.6% of eligible households) were interviewed. All household members aged ≥18 years were questioned for this analysis; proxy response was allowed for panel members unavailable at the time of interview. Responses were weighted to population controls (the actual population at the time of interview), and sampling weights for cross-sectional analysis of Wave 5 were applied to generate national estimates of disability prevalence and cause,* accounting for the complex survey design, and adjusting, in part, for undercoverage (3,4). All estimates in this report have been adjusted for sample size, clustering, survey design, and other features. Differences in the prevalence of disability by sex across age groups and other comparisons were assessed by z-test and considered statistically significant if the 95% confidence interval (CI) of the difference excluded zero (p<0.05) (4).

Participants were asked, "Because of a physical or mental health condition, [do you] have difficulty doing any of the following by yourself?" and queried about various activities (Table 1). Disability was defined as a "yes" response to at least one of the following limitation categories: 1) use of an assistive aid (cane, crutches, walker, or wheelchair), 2) difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), or specified functional activities,§ 3) one or more selected impairments, or 4) limitation in the ability to work around the house or at a job or business. Persons reporting any of these limitations (except those with only "use of an assistive aid" or "selective impairments") also were asked "Which condition or conditions cause these difficulties?" and shown a list of 30 conditions (Table 2) from which they were asked to identify the cause of their disability.** Respondents indicating more than one condition were asked to identify a main condition (3). For this report, "cause of disability" refers to the health condition the respondents identified as the main cause of their disability.

In 2005, the prevalence of self-reported disabilities among civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. adults aged ≥18 years was 21.8%, and the total estimated population reporting a disability was 47.5 million. The proportion of persons reporting a disability increased with age (18--44 years, 11.0%; 45--64 years, 23.9%; and ≥65 years, 51.8%) (Table 1) and was significantly higher among women (24.4%; CI = 23.7--25.1) compared with men (19.1%; CI = 18.5--19.7) overall and in all age groups (Figure). The estimated population with a disability among persons aged 45--64 years (17.3 million) was not statistically different (p=0.081) than among those aged ≥65 years (18.1 million). The most commonly reported disability category was "difficulty in specified functional activities," a collection of seven subcomponent measures that affected 17.3% of adults. The most commonly reported subcomponent measures were difficulty walking three city blocks (10.3%; estimated population affected = 22.5 million) and climbing a flight of stairs (10.0%; estimated population affected = 21.7 million) (Table 1).

A total of 94% of SIPP participants self-reporting a disability self-reported a cause. Arthritis or rheumatism was the most common cause of disability overall (19.0%; estimated population affected = 8.6 million) and for women (24.3%). Back or spine problems was the second most common cause of disability overall (16.8%, estimated population affected = 7.6 million) and the most common cause for men (16.9%). Heart trouble was the third most common cause of disability overall (6.6%, estimated population affected = 3.0 million) and for both sexes (8.4% men, 5.4% women) (Table 2).

Reported by: MW Brault, US Census Bureau. J Hootman, PhD, CG Helmick, MD, KA Theis, MPH, Div of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; BS Armour, PhD, Div of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC.

Editorial Note:

This analysis determined that the estimated percentage of U.S. adults reporting a disability has not changed since 1999, when, using the same survey and definitions, 22.0% of adults reported having a disability (2). Reasons for this leveling off likely include a better educated public, improved medical interventions, increased public health attention to behavior modifications (e.g., tobacco use), and increased access to assistive technology among the most advantaged socioeconomic groups (5,6).

Although the percentage has not changed, this analysis and other studies have determined that the absolute number of persons in the U.S. population reporting disabilities is increasing because of a rise in the at-risk population (1--3). The analysis in this report determined that, as of 2005, the number of baby boomers (persons aged 45--64 years) reporting disabilities had already become equal to the number of persons aged ≥65 years in the U.S. population reporting disabilities, even though they have a lower prevalence of disability as a group. After baby boomers enter the ≥65 years age group, which has a much higher risk for disability, the absolute number of persons affected likely will increase substantially. This might be particularly true for women, who, consistent with previous findings (1,3), report disability more often than men at all ages and also have a longer life expectancy. The added number of persons reporting disabilities is likely to place more demands on the health-care and public health systems (e.g., an increased need for additional health-care providers trained in musculoskeletal conditions).††

The findings in this report are subject to at least four limitations. First, because SIPP excludes persons residing in institutions, estimates of disability prevalence are conservative, especially among persons aged ≥65 years, who have higher rates of institutionalization. Second, statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error (e.g., respondent interpretation of question meaning); statistical weighting procedures might not completely control for all sources of nonsampling error, and some bias might remain.§§ However, all comparisons presented in this report have taken sampling error into account using statistical weighting procedures (4) and exceed U.S. Census Bureau minimal standards for statistical significance. Third, identifying the main cause of disability might be difficult for persons with multiple chronic conditions (2,3). Finally, the definition of disability used, although consistent with previous reports (2,3), might not be directly comparable to disability definitions used for other purposes, (e.g., qualification for Supplemental Security Income benefits).

By 2030, the number of U.S. adults aged ≥65 years will approximately double from current numbers to about 71 million. The implications of this growing number of older adults include unprecedented demands on public health and senior services and the nation's health-care system. For example, greater numbers of trained professionals will be needed to expand the reach of effective community-based programs to mitigate the effects of disability. Modifiable lifestyle characteristics (e.g., physical inactivity, obesity, and tobacco use) are major contributors to the most common causes of disability, and sometimes stem from a primary disabling condition (7). Widespread use of effective, population-based approaches to increase physical activity, reduce obesity and tobacco use, and provide health promotion education programs for persons with an existing disability¶¶ can reduce the incidence of various associated chronic conditions, prevent some disabilities, and reduce the severity of others. Regular physical activity is effective in reducing morbidity resulting from heart disease and reducing or eliminating multiple associated risk factors (8,9). Physical activity also has been shown to prevent episodes of back problems (10), reduce pain, improve physical function, and delay disability among adults with arthritis (8). Health-care providers should consider early referral to interventions that can prevent or reduce severity of disability for patients at high risk for disability (e.g., women and persons with chronic musculoskeletal conditions).

References

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's call to action to improve the health and wellness of persons with disabilities. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2005.
  2. CDC. Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults---United States, 1999. MMWR 2001;50:120--5.
  3. Brault, M. Americans with disabilities: 2005, current population reports, P70-117, Washington, DC: US Census Bureau; 2008.
  4. US Census Bureau. Source and accuracy statement for the Survey of Income and Program Participation 2004 Wave 1--Wave 12 public use files. Washington, DC: US Department of Commerce, US Census Bureau; 2009. Available at http://www.census.gov/sipp/sourceac/s&a04_w1tow12(s&a-9).pdf.
  5. Schoeni RF, Martin LG, Andreski PM, Freedman VA. Persistent and growing socioeconomic disparities in disability among the elderly: 1982--2002. Am J Public Health 2005;95:2065--70.
  6. Schoeni RF, Freedman VA, Wallace RB. Persistent, consistent, widespread, and robust? Another look at recent trends in old-age disability. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2001;56:S206--18.
  7. Institute of Medicine. Workshop on disability in America: a new look. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2006.
  8. US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee report, 2008. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2008.
  9. Li TY, Rana JS, Manson JE, et al. Obesity as compared with physical activity in predicting risk of coronary heart disease in women. Circulation 2006;113:499--506.
  10. Bigos SJ, Holland J, Holland C, Webster JS, Battie M, Malmgren JA. High-quality controlled trials on preventing episodes of back problems: systematic literature review in working-age adults. Spine J 2009;9:147--68.

* Additional information on SIPP methodology is available at http://www.census.gov/sipp/usrguide/sipp2001.pdf.

Additional information available at http://www.census.gov/sipp/sourceac/S&A04_W1toW12(S&A-10).pdf.

§ Effects of temporary conditions (less than 5 months duration) were excluded. ADLs included getting around inside the home, getting in/out of a bed/chair, bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting. IADLs included getting around outside the home, taking care of money/bills, preparing meals, doing light housework, managing prescriptions, and using the telephone. Specified functional activities included seeing letters/words in newsprint, hearing normal conversation, having speech understood, walking three city blocks, climbing a flight of stairs, grasping objects, lifting/carrying 10 pounds.

Selected impairments included learning disability, mental retardation, other developmental disability, Alzheimer's disease/senility/dementia, or other emotional/mental disability.

** U.S. Census Bureau. Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 2004 Panel, Wave 5 Core Microdata file. Available at: http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/sipp/sipp04w5c.pdf. Vision and hearing problems and difficulty with speech were included in the list of 30 conditions; persons reporting difficulty with these senses were not asked the main cause of their disability.

†† Additional information available at http://www.cdc.gov/aging/index.htm.

§§ The U.S. Census Bureau uses quality control procedures throughout production, including overall survey design, question wording, review of interviewers and coders, and statistical review of reports, to minimize all sources of error.

¶¶ See the Physical Activity and Obesity chapters in The Guide to Community Preventive Services, available at http://www.thecommunityguide.org/index.html. Living Well with a Disability (http://www.livingwellweb.com/lwpage1.htm) is an example of an effective community-delivered, health promotion education program that helps adults with mobility disabilities develop tools and skills for healthy living.

TABLE 1. Estimated number* and percentage of civilian noninstitutionalized adults aged ≥18 years with self-reported disabilities, by age group --- United States, 2005

Measure

Total

18--44 yrs

45--64 yrs

≥65 yrs

Estimated population*

%

(95% CI§)

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Total

47,501

21.8

(21.3--22.3)

12,094

11.0

(10.5--11.5)

17,274

23.9

(23.1--24.7)

18,133

51.8

(50.4--53.2)

Difficulty with specified functional activities

37,669

17.3

(16.9--17.7)

6,991

6.3

(5.9--6.7)

14,040

19.4

(18.6--20.2)

16,638

47.5

(46.1--48.9)

Seeing words/letters in newsprint

7,707

3.5

(3.3--3.7)

1,418

1.3

(1.1--1.5)

2,755

3.8

(3.4--4.2)

3,534

10.1

(9.3--10.9)

Hearing normal conversation

7,755

3.6

(3.4--3.8)

1,249

1.1

(0.9--1.3)

2,592

3.6

(3.2--4.0)

3,915

11.2

(10.3--12.1)

Having speech understood

2,416

1.1

(1.0--1.2)

867

0.8

(0.7--0.9)

797

1.1

(0.9--1.3)

753

2.1

(1.7--2.5)

Walking three city blocks

22,455

10.3

(10.0--10.6)

3,171

2.9

(2.6--3.2)

8,185

11.3

(10.7--11.9)

11,098

31.7

(30.4--33.0)

Climbing a flight of stairs

21,666

10.0

(9.7--10.3)

2,851

2.6

(2.3--2.9)

8,238

11.4

(10.8--12.0)

10,576

30.2

(28.9--31.5)

Grasping objects

7,026

3.2

(3.0--3.4)

1,155

1.0

(0.8--1.2)

3,011

4.2

(3.8--4.6)

2,860

8.2

(7.4--9.0)

Lifting/Carrying 10 lbs

15,844

7.3

(7.0--7.6)

2,567

2.3

(2.1--2.5)

5,655

7.8

(7.3--8.3)

7,622

21.8

(20.6--23.0)

Difficulty with activities of daily living

8,451

3.9

(3.7--4.1)

1,126

1.0

(0.8--1.2)

2,963

4.1

(3.7--4.5)

4,361

12.5

(11.6--13.4)

Getting around inside home

4,032

1.9

(1.7--2.1)

482

0.4

(0.3--0.5)

1,303

1.8

(1.5--2.1)

2,247

6.4

(5.7--7.1)

Getting in/out of bed/chair

5,280

2.4

(2.2--2.6)

685

0.6

(0.5--0.7)

1,962

2.7

(2.4--3.0)

2,633

7.5

(6.8--8.2)

Bathing

5,014

2.3

(2.1--2.5)

669

0.6

(0.5--0.7)

1,564

2.2

(1.9--2.5)

2,780

7.9

(7.1--8.7)

Dressing

3,702

1.7

(1.6--1.8)

579

0.5

(0.4--0.6)

1,259

1.7

(1.4--2.0)

1,864

5.3

(4.7--5.9)

Eating

1,452

0.7

(0.6--0.8)

275

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

449

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

728

2.1

(1.7--2.5)

Toileting

2,340

1.1

(1.0--1.2)

348

0.3

(0.2--0.4)

717

1.0

(0.8--1.2)

1,275

3.6

(3.1--4.1)

Difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living

13,485

6.2

(5.9--6.5)

2,478

2.2

(2.0--2.4)

4,331

6.0

(5.5--6.5)

6,676

19.1

(18.0--20.2)

Getting around outside of home

8,709

4.0

(3.8--4.2)

1,185

1.1

(0.9--1.3)

2,716

3.8

(3.4--4.2)

4,809

13.7

(12.7--14.7)

Taking care of money and bills

5,024

2.3

(2.1--2.5)

1,216

1.1

(0.9--1.3)

1,229

1.7

(1.4--2.0)

2,579

7.4

(6.7--8.1)

Preparing meals

5,028

2.3

(2.1--2.5)

933

0.8

(0.7--0.9)

1,310

1.8

(1.5--2.1)

2,786

8.0

(7.2--8.8)

Doing light housework

6,861

3.2

(3.0--3.4)

1,035

0.9

(0.7--1.1)

2,341

3.2

(2.9--3.5)

3,485

9.9

(9.1--10.7)

Managing prescriptions

4,067

1.9

(1.7--2.1)

821

0.7

(0.6--0.8)

1,062

1.5

(1.3--1.7)

2,183

6.2

(5.5--6.9)

Using the telephone

2,679

1.2

(1.1--1.3)

459

0.4

(0.3--0.5)

600

0.8

(0.6--1.0)

1,620

4.6

(4.0--5.2)

Reporting of selected impairments

13,923

6.4

(6.1--6.7)

6,141

5.6

(5.2--6.0)

4,956

6.9

(6.4--7.4)

2,826

8.1

(7.3--8.9)

A learning disability

3,635

1.7

(1.6--1.8)

2,446

2.2

(2.0--2.4)

963

1.3

(1.1--1.5)

226

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

Mental retardation

1,168

0.5

(0.4--0.6)

765

0.7

(0.6--0.8)

307

0.4

(0.3--0.5)

96

0.3

(0.2--0.4)

Other developmental disability

610

0.3

(0.2--0.4)

427

0.4

(0.3--0.5)

141

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

42

0.1

(0.0--0.2)

Alzheimer's disease/senility/dementia

2,100

1.0

(0.9--1.1)

324

0.3

(0.2--0.4)

448

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

1,328

3.8

(3.3--4.3)

Other mental/emotional disability

9,924

4.6

(4.4--4.8)

3,910

3.5

(3.2--3.8)

4,037

5.6

(5.1--6.1)

1,977

5.6

(4.9--6.3)

Use of assistive aid

11,226

5.2

(4.9--5.5)

1,147

1.0

(0.8--1.2)

3,345

4.6

(4.2--5.0)

6,734

19.2

(18.1--20.3)

Wheelchair

3,260

1.5

(1.4--1.6)

477

0.4

(0.3--0.5)

960

1.3

(1.1--1.5)

1,823

5.2

(4.6--5.8)

Cane, crutches, or walker

10,193

4.7

(4.5--4.9)

903

0.8

(0.7--0.9)

3,033

4.2

(3.8--4.6)

6,256

17.9

(16.8--19.0)

Limitation in ability to work around the house

18,747

8.6

(8.3--8.9)

3,897

3.5

(3.2--3.8)

7,736

10.7

(10.1--11.3)

7,115

20.3

(19.2--21.4)

Limitation in ability to work at a job or business**

4,911

4.5

(4.2--4.8)

8,193

11.3

(10.7--11.9)

Received federal work disability benefits

3,142

2.8

(2.5--3.1)

5,516

7.6

(7.1--8.1)

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation, Wave 5, June--September 2005.

* Weighted number in 1,000s.

Categories are not mutually exclusive; respondents might have answered affirmatively for more than one component. Totals across categories likely exceed the estimated number of individuals reporting disability (47.5 million).

§ Confidence interval.

Weighted estimates less than 200,000 are based on a small sample size and are likely unreliable and shoud be interpeted with caution (4).

** Reported only for adults aged 18--64 years; receipt of federal work benefits was not included in the definition of disability, these data are provided for informational purposes only.


TABLE 2. Main cause of disability among civilian noninstitutionalized U.S.adults aged ≥18 years with self-reported disabilities,* estimated affected population and percentages, by sex --- United States, 2005

Condition§

All persons 

Men 

Women

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Estimated population

%

(95% CI)

Arthritis or rheumatism

8,552

19.0

(18.0--20.0)

2,154

11.5

(10.3--12.7)

6,398

24.3

(22.9--25.7)

Back or spine problems

7,589

16.8

(15.9--17.7)

3,158

16.9

(15.5--18.3)

4,431

16.8

(15.6--18.0)

Heart trouble

2,988

6.6

(6.0--7.2)

1,570

8.4

(7.3--9.5)

1,418

5.4

(4.7--6.1)

Lung or respiratory problem

2,224

4.9

(4.4--5.4)

925

4.9

(4.1--5.7)

1,299

4.9

(4.2--5.6)

Mental or emotional problem

2,203

4.9

(4.4--5.4)

982

5.2

(4.3--6.1)

1,222

4.6

(3.9--5.3)

Diabetes

2,012

4.5

(4.0--5.0)

907

4.8

(4.0--5.6)

1,106

4.2

(3.5--4.9)

Deafness or hearing problem

1,908

4.2

(3.7--4.7)

1,272

6.8

(5.8--7.8)

635

2.4

(1.9--2.9)

Stiffness or deformity of limbs/
extremities

1,627

3.6

(3.1--4.1)

664

3.6

(2.9--4.3)

963

3.7

(3.1--4.3)

Blindness or vision problem

1,460

3.2

(2.8--3.6)

722

3.9

(3.2--4.6)

738

2.8

(2.3--3.3)

Stroke

1,076

2.4

(2.0--2.8)

574

3.1

(2.4--3.8)

503

1.9

(1.5--2.3)

Cancer

1,007

2.2

(1.8--2.6)

449

2.4

(1.8--3.0)

558

2.1

(1.6--2.6)

Broken bone/fracture

969

2.1

(1.7--2.5)

358

1.9

(1.4--2.4)

610

2.3

(1.8--2.8)

High blood pressure

857

1.9

(1.6--2.2)

299

1.6

(1.1--2.1)

558

2.1

(1.6--2.6)

Mental retardation

671

1.5

(1.2--1.8)

327

1.7

(1.2--2.2)

344

1.3

(0.9--1.7)

Senility/Dementia/Alzheimer's
disease

546

1.2

(0.9--1.5)

195**

1.0

(0.6--1.4)

350

1.3

(0.9--1.7)

Head or spinal cord injury

516

1.1

(0.8--1.4)

287

1.5

(1.0--2.0)

229

0.9

(0.6--1.2)

Learning disability

492

1.1

(0.8--1.4)

298

1.6

(1.1--2.1)

195**

0.7

(0.4--1.0)

Kidney problems

411

0.9

(0.7--1.1)

221

1.2

(0.8--1.6)

190**

0.7

(0.4--1.0)

Stomach/Digestive problems

358

0.8

(0.6--1.0)

138**

0.7

(0.4--1.0)

220

0.8

(0.5--1.1)

Paralysis of any kind

257

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

128**

0.7

(0.4--1.0)

129**

0.5

(0.3--0.7)

Epilepsy

256

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

107**

0.6

(0.3--0.9)

149**

0.6

(0.4--0.8)

Hernia or rupture

229

0.5

(0.3--0.7)

109**

0.6

(0.3--0.9)

120**

0.5

(0.3--0.7)

Cerebral palsy

223

0.5

(0.3--0.7)

145**

0.8

(0.5--1.1)

78**

0.3

(0.1--0.5)

Missing limbs/extremities

209

0.5

(0.3--0.7)

159**

0.8

(0.4--1.2)

50**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

Alcohol or drug problem

201

0.4

(0.2--0.6)

148**

0.8

(0.5--1.1)

53**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

Tumor/Cyst/Growth

123**

0.3

(0.2--0.4)

37**

0.2

(0.0--0.4)

86**

0.3

(0.1--0.5)

Thyroid problems

110**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

26**

0.1

(0.0--0.2)

84**

0.3

(0.1--0.5)

AIDS or AIDS-related condition

90**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

45**

0.2

(0.0--0.4)

45**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

Speech disorder

72**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

28**

0.1

(0.0--0.2)

44**

0.2

(0.1--0.3)

Other

5,830

12.9

(12.1--13.7)

2,268

12.1

(10.8--13.4)

3,562

13.5

(12.4--14.6)

Total*

45,070

100.0

 

18,701

100.0

 

26,369

100.0

 

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2004 Panel, Wave 5, June--September 2005.

* Based on responses from an estimated 45.1 million persons (94% of total) reporting a disability (i.e., difficulty with activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, specific functional limitations [except vision, hearing, or speech], limitation in ability to do housework or work at a job or business) who also reported the main cause of their disability.

Weighted numbers in 1,000s.

§ Participants reporting disability were asked: "Which condition or conditions cause these difficulties?" and shown this list of conditions. Those who chose more than one condition were asked to identify the main cause of their disability.

Confidence interval.

** Weighted estimates less than 200,000 are based on a small sample size, are likely unreliable, and shoud be interpeted with caution (4).

Figure. Percentage of adults aged ≥18 years reporting disability, by sex* and age group --- United States, 2005

Percentage of adults aged ≥18 years reporting disability, by sex* and age group --- United States, 2005

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation, Wave 5, June--September 2005.

* Disability prevalence is significantly higher among women than men for all age groups (z-test for women-men differences by age group: 18--44 years, p=0.006; 45--64 years, p<0.0001; ≥65 years, p<0.0001).

95% confidence interval.

The figure above shows the percentage of adults aged >18 years reporting disability by sex and age group in the United States, based on 2005 data.

Among males aged 18-44 years, 10.3% reported some type of disability. Among females aged 18-44 years, 11.7% reported some type of disability.

Among males aged 45-65 years, 21. 8% reported some type of disability. Among females aged 45-65 years, 25.9% reported some type of disability.

Among males aged >65 years, 45.3% reported some type of disability. Among females aged >65 years, 56.5% reported some type of disability.

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Date last reviewed: 4/30/2009

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