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      The Public Health Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic for People with Disabilities

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          Abstract

          With the rapidly changing landscape of the Covid-19 outbreak, how to best address the needs and continue to protect the health and well-being of people with disabilities (PwDs) is a global public health priority. In this commentary we identify three public health areas of ongoing need and offer possible strategies to address each. These areas include: the types of data that would help clarify risks for PwDs and help assure their safety long term; the prevention, treatment and mitigation measures for PwDs that are needed through the duration of the outbreak; and the issues of equity in access to and quality of medical care for PwDs. Because of the rapid nature of the public health response, it is critical to reassess and readjust our approach to best address the needs of PwDs in the months and years to come and to incorporate these new practices into future emergency preparedness responses.

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          Most cited references 11

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          Prevalence of Disabilities and Health Care Access by Disability Status and Type Among Adults — United States, 2016

          Persons with disabilities face greater barriers to health care than do those without disabilities ( 1 ). To identify characteristics of noninstitutionalized adults with six specific disability types (hearing, vision, cognition, mobility, self-care, and independent living),* and to assess disability-specific disparities in health care access, CDC analyzed 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. The prevalences of disability overall and by disability type, and access to health care by disability type, were estimated. Analyses were stratified by three age groups: 18–44 years (young adults), 45–64 years (middle-aged adults), and ≥65 years (older adults). Among young adults, cognitive disability (10.6%) was the most prevalent type. Mobility disability was most prevalent among middle-aged (18.1%) and older adults (26.9%). Generally, disability prevalences were higher among women, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), adults with income below the federal poverty level (FPL), and persons in the South U.S. Census region. Disability-specific disparities in health care access were prevalent, particularly among young and middle-aged adults. These data might inform public health programs of the sociodemographic characteristics and disparities in health care access associated with age and specific disability types and guide efforts to improve access to care for persons with disabilities.
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            Neurologic disorders among pediatric deaths associated with the 2009 pandemic influenza.

            The goal of this study was to describe reported influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus (pH1N1)-associated deaths in children with underlying neurologic disorders.
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              Disability Status as an Antecedent to Chronic Conditions: National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2012

              Introduction A strong relationship exists between disability and poor health. This relationship could exist as a result of disabilities emerging from chronic conditions; conversely, people with disabilities may be at increased risk of developing chronic conditions. Studying health in relation to age of disability onset can illuminate the extent to which disability may be a risk factor for future poor health. Methods We used data from the 2006–2012 National Health Interview Survey and conducted weighted logistic regression analyses to compare chronic conditions in adults with lifelong disabilities (n = 2,619) and adults with no limitations (n = 122,395). Results After adjusting for sociodemographic differences, adults with lifelong disabilities had increased odds of having the following chronic conditions compared with adults with no limitations: coronary heart disease (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.92; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.33–3.66) cancer (AOR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.34–1.94), diabetes (AOR = 2.57; 95% CI, 2.10–3.15), obesity (AOR = 1.81; 95% CI, 1.63–2.01), and hypertension (AOR = 2.18; 95% CI, 1.94–2.45). Subpopulations of people with lifelong disabilities (ie, physical, mental, intellectual/developmental, and sensory) experienced similar increased odds for chronic conditions compared with people with no limitations. Conclusion Adults with lifelong disabilities were more likely to have chronic conditions than adults with no limitations, indicating that disability likely increases risk of developing poor health. This distinction is critical in understanding how to prevent health risks for people with disabilities. Health promotion efforts that target people living with a disability are needed.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Disabil Health J
                Disabil Health J
                Disability and Health Journal
                Published by Elsevier Inc.
                1936-6574
                1876-7583
                24 May 2020
                24 May 2020
                Affiliations
                [a ]Georgia State University, Center for Leadership on Disability, Atlanta, GA
                [b ]University of Kansas Medical Center, Department of Population Health, Kansas City, KS
                [c ]Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Columbus, OH
                [d ]Good Samaritan Health Center, Atlanta, GA
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author: cboyle@ 123456GSU.edu
                Article
                S1936-6574(20)30068-6 100943
                10.1016/j.dhjo.2020.100943
                7246015
                © 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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                Article

                pandemic, emergency preparedness, disability, covid-19

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