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Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105 Suppl 2:S198-206. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302182. Epub 2015 Feb 17.

Persons with disabilities as an unrecognized health disparity population.

Author information

1
At the time of the writing of this article, Gloria L. Krahn was with the Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Deborah Klein Walker is with the Public Health and Epidemiology Practice, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA. Rosaly Correa-De-Araujo was with the Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

Abstract

Disability is an emerging field within public health; people with significant disabilities account for more than 12% of the US population. Disparity status for this group would allow federal and state governments to actively work to reduce inequities. We summarize the evidence and recommend that observed differences are sufficient to meet the criteria for health disparities: population-level differences in health outcomes that are related to a history of wide-ranging disadvantages, which are avoidable and not primarily caused by the underlying disability. We recommend future research and policy directions to address health inequities for individuals with disabilities; these include improved access to health care and human services, increased data to support decision-making, strengthened health and human services workforce capacity, explicit inclusion of disability in public health programs, and increased emergency preparedness.

PMID:
25689212
PMCID:
PMC4355692
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2014.302182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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