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How Does Disability Affect Health and Wellbeing?

Individuals with disabilities are plagued with numerous challenges that affect their participation in everyday activities and health-related concerns. Individuals with disabilities require unique healthcare and health programs to remain active and participate in community development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability as a complex and multidimensional condition that includes physical limitations and impairments. Individuals with disabilities are plagued with numerous challenges that affect their participation in everyday activities and health-related concerns. 

According to research, there is estimated to be over 1 billion people living with various forms of disability. People with disabilities account for 15% of the general population and are often in need of specialized healthcare services. Recent research shows an increase in the number of individuals with disabilities. Experts believe that chronic health issues and the ageing population are the main contributing factors to the phenomenon. 

Individuals with disabilities require unique healthcare and health programs to remain active and participate in community development. Studies reveal that individuals with disabilities are more susceptible to experience: 

  • Reduced physical activity 

  • Poor general health 

  • Limited access to proper health care 

People with disabilities require access to information and tools to guide them in making healthy lifestyle choices to preserve their health. Individuals also need to identify health conditions related to their disability and establish proper medical control measures. Some of the common secondary conditions include depression, chronic pain, and a higher risk of infection. 

Secondary Conditions

It is no secret that people with disabilities at greater risk of experiencing health issues. People with disabilities should be regularly monitored to help prevent these health problems. Health conditions experienced by individuals with disabilities are also referred to as secondary conditions; these conditions include;  

Chronic Pain 

It is common for people with disabilities to experience pain. In some cases, individuals undergo so much pain that they are unable to perform their daily activities. The duration of the pain is determined by the preexisting condition affecting the person. Pain can present itself either as long-term or short-term. 

Obesity and Overweight 

A recent study suggests that children and adults with disabilities are more predisposed to obesity than those without disabilities. Obesity is a severe condition that can result in numerous health complications if not properly managed. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to watch their diet and engage in physical activity to avoid obesity. 

Depression and mental health  

are defined as how we feel, process information, and our decision-making capability in life. Individuals with disabilities often report increased rates of stress and depression compared to non-disabled people. Individuals are advised to consult medical professionals on how to preserve their mental health. Some people with disabilities use exercise to improve the mental health. 

Injury and fatigue 

Fatigue refers to extreme tiredness or complete lack of energy. Fatigue can be very dangerous as it affects an individual's ability to think and perceive the immediate environment. The lack of energy can have a negative effect, especially in performing work duties. Individuals with disabilities should be under observation to keep track of their health conditions and prevent them from getting injured. 

Injuries in this context refer to homicide, suicide, and unintentional harm to a person. According to research, injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged 1- 44. Injuries experienced by people with disabilities inflict financial, emotional, and physical afflictions that affect a person's role in society.  

Chronic illnesses are the most reported cases and the most expensive health challenges though the conditions can be prevented. All it takes is a healthy lifestyle, routine screening to prevent the condition from developing for some illnesses. In cases where individuals experience discomfort, they should seek medical advice from their medical health provider. 


Individuals are encouraged to participate in regular cancer screening for cervical, colorectal cancers, and breast is vital to help detect the condition early enough for treatment. Research reveals that the number of women with disabilities being screened for cervical and breast cancer is below the set regulations. 

Women with disabilities raise several concerns as to why they are less likely to go for screening. The concerns raised by the women include inaccessible facilities and equipment. 


Diabetes is a chronic and dangerous disease that can be managed with the right medication and care; a person can live a productive and impactful life. Diabetes affects the body's glucose levels affecting an individual's ability to perform certain activities. In the united states, people with disabilities tend to report a higher rate than the United States' general population. 

Learning Disorders

Learning disorders refer to an individual's ability to comprehend or use written and spoken language or operate arithmetic calculations and focus attention. It is common for people to experience learning disorders and it may sometimes overlap with other disabilities. Individuals may have unique or specific learning disabilities that directly affect their quality of life.

Limb Loss

This refers to the loss of either an arm or leg. It can result from diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, trauma, or infection from other diseases. Notably, some people are born without limbs; others lose them during their life either through accident or due to illness. Individuals are provided with assistive equipment to help them move around depending on the lost limb. 

More often than not, limb loss is an outcome of health complications and not the cause of the problems. In most cases, loss of a limb can decrease physical activity, rise in skin-related infections from using a prosthesis, and chronic phantom pain. People with disabilities who experience limb loss are encouraged to try therapy to nurse them to recovery and address their mental health. 

People with disabilities are advised to routinely seek medical examination to help them keep track of their health and live a productive life.