1 In 5 Utahns Have A Disability: New Report Examines What That Means For Their Health
For the first time, the Utah Department of Health produced a statewide study looking at health according to residents’ disability status.
Almost one in five Utahns is living with a disability. They range from the most common: mobility and cognitive disabilities, to less common ones like blindness and barriers to things like dressing or bathing.
Stephanie George is an epidemiologist who worked on the report. She says there are slightly fewer people with disabilities in Utah than the national average.
"They have the right to health just like the rest of us. But the other big take-away is just the huge difference in their health and quality of life," George says.
She means those living with disabilities are less likely to graduate from high school and college, they’re often underinsured and are more likely to deal with depression.
"Things like that, that are shocking when you look through all of it just how big the gap is, between their health and the health of someone without a disability," she says.
Included in the new report are suggestions for health providers and state officials for how to make better policies for people with disabilities.