On January 24th, 2012 the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) co-sponsored the third episode in a four-part series of free Webinars on promoting health and preventing disease for people with disabilities. Episode 3: Differences in Health Status for People with Disabilities featured presentations by Michael H. Fox, ScD, and Elizabeth Courtney-Long, MA, MSPH.
The hour long presentation included statistical information on the health status of individuals with disabilities and the growing health disparities compared to individuals without disabilities. Presenters discussed key indicators of health derived from Healthy People 2020, what are health disparities and their causes, and specific self-reported survey data from the Behavior Risk Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS data indicated the following disparities across seven health indicators:
- People with disabilities were more likely to have fair to poor health status compared to those without disabilities
- People with disabilities were more likely to be overweight/obese compared to people without disabilities
- Women with disabilities over the age of 40 were less likely to get a mammogram over a two year time period
- People with disabilities were more likely to be more physically inactive compared to people without disabilities
- People with disabilities were more likely to report having an unmet medical need due to cost and/or access to care compared to those without disabilities
- People with disabilities were more likely to report being a current smoker compared to those without disabilities
- People with disabilities were less likely to have use dental services compared to those without disabilities
The disparities gap has continued to widen over the past five years with obesity in people with disabilities being the biggest issue and health concern. Presenters discussed promising practices implemented by specific CDC-funded state disability and health programs to reduce disparities in key health indicators; and partnerships between organizations such as the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD), the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation/Paralysis Resource Center, the Amputee Coalition, and various others. Finally, presenters discussed how to move forward on improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities for people with disabilities by building on previous recommendations and continued efforts by the CDC, NIH, and others to fund disability and health-related research.
Audio and the PowerPoint presentation slides from the January 24th webinar will be available from the AAIDD and AAHD websites www.aamr.org and www.aahd.us, respectively. The fourth and final episode of the four-part series the “CDC’s Roadmap for Improving the Health of People with Disabilities” will take place on February 21st, 2012 at 4 p.m. EST. For more information on previous episodes in this series and to register for the February 21st webinar please visit www.aamr.org/content_7633.cfm.