Health Statistics for Arkansans with Disabilities

Arkansas Disability and Health

Doctor with patientAccording to the 2000 census, over 54 million people in the United States live with a disability. This represents 19% of the population. In Arkansas, data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) indicates that around 26.7% of adults living in the community have some type of disability.

Other findings from the BRFSS indicate significant differences between Arkansans with disabilities and those without disabilities. These findings include:

  • People with disabilities are more often smokers, overweight, and physically inactive.
  • Poor physical and mental health is more likely to be reported by people with disabilities.
  • Access to health care is an issue for people with disabilities since significantly more report being unable to see a doctor because of cost.
  • Rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease are 2-3 times higher for people with disabilities.

A man types on a TTY

Download Disability Chartbooks

2003 Chartbook on Disability in Arkansas (PDF)
2005 Chartbook on Disability in Arkansas (PDF)

A separate survey was conducted using the adapted techniques for people with developmental disabilities.

Some findings include:

  • Arkansans with developmental disabilities have obesity rates of 64.7 % compared with only 25.5% of the general population
  • Arkansans with developmental disabilities report extremely high rates of depression (52.3%) compared to the general population (6.7%)
  • In most cases, people with developmental disabilities report chronic disease rates 2 to 3 times that of the general population
    • 24.4% of the general population report having high blood pressure while 48.2% of indviduals with the developmental disabilities reported being told they had high blood pressure
    • Arthritis affects 39.5% of people with developmental disabilities, but only 21.8% of Arkansans without disabilities

Download Disability Reports

Report on the Health of People with Developmental Disabilities in Arkansas (PDF)