CDC In The Dark About Health Of Americans With Disabilities
Too little is known about the health-related experiences of Americans with disabilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a first-of-its-kind report this week.
Looking at health disparities among different demographic groups, the report assessed how factors such as income, race and gender impact the likelihood that a person will be healthy or sick. The CDC found, for example, that lower income individuals are more likely to be hospitalized for preventable conditions and the odds of suicide are greater among men than women.
Among people with disabilities, the report indicates that having health insurance is more common as is living in inadequate housing. Meanwhile, individuals in this group are also more likely to have conditions like diabetes and hypertension.
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However, federal officials said they weren’t able to obtain a complete picture of the health experiences of people with disabilities as compared to others simply because too little information exists. Of the 22 topics studied, disability data was available for just eight.
There are efforts to change that, with a series of interagency working groups looking to expand data collection.
“Better information about the health status of different groups is essential,” said Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, who indicated that improved analysis and reporting will lead to “health equity in this country.”