Verbrugge, Lois M., and L. Juarez. 2008. "Arthritis disability and heart disease disability." Arthritis & Rheumatism-Arthritis Care & Research, 59(10): 1445-57.
OBJECTIVE: Arthritis is the most common health condition in midlife and late life, and heart disease is the leading cause of death. This article compares disability impacts of these 2 preeminent health problems. METHODS: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey Disability Supplement, we studied specific limitations and disabilities, accommodations used (buffers), and accommodations needed (barriers) for US population groups of adults with arthritis disability, heart disease disability, both arthritis and heart disease disability, and disability due to other conditions. Weights and complex SE adjusted for sample design. We hypothesized that arthritis disability is more extensive and troublesome than heart disease disability. RESULTS: People with arthritis disability had more numerous, longer, and more bothersome disabilities than people with heart disease disability. People with arthritis disability used more equipment and rehabilitation, whereas people with heart disease disability emphasized personal assistance, medications, and medical services. People with arthritis disability experienced more barriers and needs in activities and services. People with disabilities from both arthritis and heart disease were especially disadvantaged, with high levels of limitations and accommodations. People with disability from other conditions had the highest social participation, fewest disabilities, and most tailored accommodations of all groups. CONCLUSION: Arthritis had higher and more extensive disability impact than heart disease. Both groups had more difficulty, buffers, and barriers in their lives than people disabled by other conditions. Therefore, arthritis and heart disease are premier conditions for disability attention and alleviation in the US population.