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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007 Jun;16(5):713-20.

Health conditions among women with a disability.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA.



This study was designed to determine if the incidence of some common health conditions was higher among 770 women with a disability compared with 1097 women without a disability and 679 men with a disability in the same primary care medical practices.


This is a retrospective cohort study that used record review of individuals with sensory impairments (n = 117), developmental disabilities (n = 692), trauma-related impairments (n = 155), and psychiatric impairments (n = 485) and 1097 patients without a disability.


Diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, three important predictors of morbidity and mortality, were not significantly more likely to occur in women with disabilities compared with others in the same medical practice. Dementia had higher hazard ratios (HRs) for women with sensory, developmental, and trauma disability. However, women with trauma disability had a significantly lower (HR) for dementia compared with men with the same disability. Women with sensory disability were at higher risk for transient ischemic attack (TIA) compared with women in the same practice without disability, and there was no difference in HRs compared with men with disability. Women with disability related to trauma were at higher risk for depression compared with women in the same practice without disability and compared with men with the same disability. Some conditions, such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), have opportunities for prevention, as they are associated with smoking, physical inactivity, and diet.


Healthcare providers should be aware of risks associated with specific impairment groups so they can implement prevention and treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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