Health >> Disability >> Any Limitations >> Military Service, Sexual Orientation, Health

FOR THE MOST RECENT DATA UPDATE, please see Community Health Indicators >>>

Although having a disability does not imply poor health, 59% of adults in fair or poor health also had a disability.

1 in 5 King County adults belongs to the county’s largest minority group – people with disabilities. Membership in this group can change with time and circumstance.  Most adults will have a disability at some point in their lives. 

Averaging telephone survey data from 2007 through 2011, 23% of King County adults said they were limited by a physical, emotional, or mental problem; or had a health problem that required use of equipment such as a cane, wheelchair, special bed, or special telephone.

  • Veterans had a higher disability rate than non-veterans.  Only for adults younger than 45 do disability rates for veterans and non-veterans begin to converge.
  • Survey respondents who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual had a higher rate of disability than did heterosexuals.  This difference persisted even when adults older than 65, 45, and 30 years of age were excluded from the analysis. See Notes & Sources for more.
  • The strong link between poor health and disability is particularly striking, and extends across all adult age groups, even though having a disability does not imply poor health.  A person who is blind or has an amputation or a cognitive limitation can still enjoy excellent health.  As a group, however, people with disabilities experience considerably poorer health than those without disabilities. Some disabling conditions such as diabetes or heart disease contribute directly to ill health.  Other impairments, such as a paralyzing spinal cord injury, put a person at increased risk for secondary health problems such as urinary tract and pulmonary infections.