Did You Know? NH Disability & Public Health Report
Nearly one in five (18.2 %) New Hampshire adults between the ages of 18 and 64 report some type of disability. With the large portion of the NH population experiencing a disability, it becomes vital that public health programs, services, and initiatives are inclusive and available for all NH residents. This means ensuring that they are both physically and culturally accessible to individuals with varying needs and abilities.
This is just one of the findings from the 2016 New Hampshire Disability & Public Health Report, released by the NH Disability & Public Health Project (DPH) at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. In addition to Disability Prevalence in NH, the report covers social determinants of health, access to health care, and health indicators.
“We’re very excited about this year’s report because this is the first time we are able to analyze health indicators and health outcomes by disability type,” explains Kim Phillips, Co-Investigator for DPH. “The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) recently adopted questions to identify individuals with mobility, visual, or cognitive difficulties in NH. The DPH report uses the most current data, combining years 2013 and 2014, in order to compare across groups.”
The report focuses on NH adults ages 18 to 64, and some key findings include:
- People with a mobility difficulty only or with multiple disabilities are most likely to experience activity limitations;
- People with cognitive and visual disabilities are less likely to have health insurance than people with mobility only or multiple limitations or without disabilities;
- People with all types of disabilities are more likely to be current smokers than adults without disabilities in NH; adults with cognitive or visual difficulties are most likely to smoke;
- People with disabilities are more likely to be sedentary than people without disabilities; among disability groups, people with cognitive limitations are more likely to exercise than people with mobility or multiple limitations;
- People with mobility, cognitive, and multiple disabilities are more likely to be obese than their peers with visual difficulties or without disabilities;
- People with disabilities are far more likely than adults without disabilities to report their overall health as “fair” or “poor”; this is especially true of adults with multiple disabilities.
The New Hampshire Disability & Public Health project (DPH) is a collaboration between the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire and the NH Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) and is funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The project goal, to promote and maximize health, prevent chronic disease, and improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities, is achieved through activities that focus on infusing disability components into new and existing state public health programs and initiatives. DPH's Principal Investigator is Dr. Charles Drum. For more information visit www.nhdisabilityhealth.org or contact (603) 862 – 4320.