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Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) Basic Information

Innovative Online Tool that Provides Health Data on Adults With and Without Disabilities by State

Disability and Health Data System (DHDS) is an online interactive tool that provides instant access to state-level, disability-specific health data. Users can customize the disability and health data they view, making it easy to identify health disparities between adults with and without disabilities.  DHDS can be used to help support the development of data-driven, fiscally-responsible programs, services, and policies that include people with disabilities.

What is Disability and Health Data System (DHDS)?

  • Starting point for research, program development, and identifying opportunities for improvement of the health of adults with disabilities
  • State-level data system dedicated to disability and indicators of health
  • Online interactive data tool that provides instant access to disability and health data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
  • Health data on adults with and without disabilities to identify differences
    • View data on a single health indicator across states through customizable maps and data tables
    • View data on a range of health indicators for a single state through state profiles
    • View data on a range of health indicators for two geographic areas through dual area profiles

Why should organizations use DHDS?

  • Provides state-level data to support programs and efficiently allocate resources to improve the health of adults with disabilities
  • Identifies differences in health for adults with disabilities compared with adults without disabilities
  • Generates research questions to investigate factors that contribute to differences in health experienced by adults with disabilities.
  • Identifies opportunities to include adults with disabilities in programs and policies

What Can I Do With DHDS?

  • Determine the percentage of adults with disabilities in your state
  • Find health data for adults with disabilities in your state, and compare these data to adults without disabilities
  • Compare your state health data to other states, and to the United States & Territories average
  • View data on a range of health topics for a single state
  • Create and download customizable data tables

What Data are Available in DHDS?

  • 2004—2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data are available, and are updated annually
  • Disability status data, available on over 70 health and demographic indicators, can be viewed by disability status overall, and by age, sex, and race/ethnicity
  • Psychological distress data are available for 38 health and demographic indicators
  • Disability-associated health care expenditures data are available

Who are Users of DHDS?

  • State, tribal, local and territorial public health departments
  • State-based chronic disease directors
  • State-based disability organizations or staff working in disability
  • National, state, and local disability and health organizations
  • Public health professionals
  • Health educators
  • Policymakers and staff
  • Researchers
  • Disability and health champions
  • Academic institutions with interest in disability and health
  • Health care providers
  • CDC programs

About Disability and Health

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. are living with a disability. Disability is often equated with poor health; however, people with disabilities can and should have the same opportunity for good health as people without disabilities. Compared to people without disabilities, people with disabilities are more likely to be obese, smoke and have more difficulty accessing preventive health services. To reduce these health disparities, state-based data are needed to provide support for programs and services that can effectively improve the health of people with disabilities.

About the Division of Human Development and Disability

The Division of Human Development and Disability works to prevent disease and promote equity in health and development of children and adults with and at risk for disabilities.  The division is located in CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.