Cognitive Disability Most Prevalent Type in Young Adults

MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 — Cognitive disability is the most prevalent disability type among young adults, while middle-aged and older adults have the highest prevalence of mobility disability, according to a report published in the Aug. 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Catherine A. Okoro, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues identified characteristics of non-institutionalized adults with six specific disability types and used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine disability-specific disparities in health care access. The analyses were stratified by age group: 18 to 44 years, 45 to 64 years, and ≥65 years (young, middle-aged, and older adults).

The researchers found that cognitive disability was the most prevalent type among young adults (10.6 percent), while mobility disability was most prevalent among middle-aged and older adults (18.1 and 26.9 percent, respectively). The prevalences of disability were generally higher among women, American Indian/Alaska Natives, adults with income below the federal poverty level, and individuals in the South U.S. census region. Disability-specific disparities in access to health care were prevalent, especially for young and middle-aged adults.

“These data might inform public health programs of the sociodemographic characteristics and disparities in health care access associated with age and specific disability types and guide efforts to improve access to care for persons with disabilities,” the authors write.

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Posted: August 2018

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