CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Americans with Disabilities

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Conditions Causing Disabilities


The data in table 29 show the number of times that selected conditions were named as the cause of a physical, ADL, or IADL limitation. Respondents were asked to select the condition(s) causing the difficulty from a card containing a list of 30 conditions. Respondents could report up to three conditions. The question about conditions was not asked for persons whose only reported difficulty was with the functional activities of seeing, hearing, or having speech understood.

The number of persons 15 years old and over reporting one or more conditions was 27.3 million; 10.1 million persons reported at least two conditions and 4.6 million reported three conditions. Among the specific conditions most frequently mentioned as a cause of disability were arthritis or rheumatism (mentioned by 7.2 million persons), back or spine problems (5.7 million), heart trouble (4.6 million), lung or respiratory trouble (2.8 million), high blood pressure (2.2 million), stiffness or deformity of the foot, leg, arm or hand (2.0 million), diabetes (1.6 million) and blindness or vision problems (1.5 million) (the latter two numbers are not statistically different and the frequency with which high blood pressure was reported as a cause was not statistically different from the frequency with which stiffness or deformity of the foot, leg, arm, or hand was reported as a cause).

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