Prevalence of disabilities and associated health conditions among adults--United States, 1999

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Feb 23;50(7):120-5.


In the United States, the number of persons reporting disabling conditions increased from 49 million during 1991-1992 to 54 million during 1994-1995. During 1996, direct medical costs for persons with disability were $260 billion. Surveillance of disability prevalence and associated health conditions is useful in setting policy, anticipating the service needs of health systems, assisting state programs, directing health promotion and disease prevention efforts, and monitoring national health objectives. The U.S. Bureau of the Census and CDC analyzed data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to determine national prevalence estimates of adults with disabilities and associated health conditions. This report summarizes findings of that analysis, which indicate that disability continues to be an important public health problem, even among working adults, and arthritis or rheumatism, back or spine problems, and heart trouble/hardening of the arteries remain the leading causes. Better health promotion and disease prevention may reduce the prevalence of disability-associated health conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Arthritis / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Planning*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Spinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology