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Chartbook on Disability in the U.S.

Section 3: Causes and Costs of Disabilities

3.2. In a year, which conditions causing activity limitations are reported most often?

The highest percents of chronic health conditions that cause activity limitations and onset in the year 1991 were: malignant neoplasms of other and ill-defined sites within the digestive organs and peritoneum (40.7 percent of all reports of the condition); visual disturbances (40.7%); malignant neoplasms of respiratory and intrathoracic organs (40.5%); malignant neoplasms of male genital organs (38.9%); malignant neoplasms of other and unspecified sites (37.7%); and malignant neoplasms of other and unspecified female genital organs (32.9%).

Technical Note: Groupings of the conditions can affect the percents and rates. For example, malignant neoplasms could be grouped together as cancer, giving a different rate. Listed conditions are significantly different from all conditions at p<.05 confidence at a minimum.

Of the top 15 conditions causing an activity limitation that onset in the past year, many were cancers.

Chronic condition Percent of
conditions causing
limitations with
onset in past year
Malignant neoplasm of other and ill-defined sites
within the digestive organs and peritoneum
40.7%
Visual disturbances 40.7%
Malignant neoplasm of respiratory and
intrathoracic organs
40.5%
Malignant neoplasm of male genital organs 38.9%
Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified sites 37.7%
Malignant neoplasm of other and unspecified female
genital organs
32.9%
Chronic injuries or late effects of injuries 29.2%
Other digestive diseases 27.1%
Heart failure 23.9%
Dyspnea and respiratory abnormalities 23.6%
Peripheral enteropathies and other allied disorders 22.0%
Malignant neoplasm of female breast 21.6%
Orthopedic impairment of shoulder and/or upper
extremity
18.5%
Other chronic ischemic heart disease 15.5%
Orthopedic impairment of lower extremity 14.5%

Source: LaPlante, 1996

Survey: NHIS 1992

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