Statistics – Invisible Illness

May 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Statistics

  • b04 Statistics   Invisible Illness

woman young Statistics   Invisible IllnessWHO HAS AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS?

  • Nearly 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition. (Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (September 2004 Update). “Chronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care”.)
  • By 2020, about 157 million Americans will be afflicted by chronic illnesses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • That number is projected to increase by more than one percent per year by 2030, resulting in an estimated chronically ill population of 171 million. (ibid)
  • Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64 (ibid)
  • 90% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 77% have two or more chronic diseases (The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Heal Reports / May–June 2004 / Volume 119, Gerard Anderson, PhD)
  • In the United States 4 in 5health care dollars (78%) are spent on behalf of people with chronic conditions (The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Health Reports, MayJune 2004 Volume 119 Gerard Anderson, PhD)

WHAT ABOUT INVISIBLE ILLNESS?

Approximately 96% of people who live with an illness have an illness that is invisible. These people do no use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy. (2002 US Census Bureau)

HOW DID YOU GET THIS STATISTIC?

We did our best to take the statistics that are available by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1997, p. 1

  • Over 100 million people in the U.S. have a chronic illness;
  • 20.6 percent of the population, about 54 million people, have some level of disability;
  • 9.9 percent or 26 million people had a severe disability
  • 1.8 million used a wheelchair
  • 5.2 million used a cane, crutches, or a walker
  • So that is less than 6% who have a visible illness.
  • There are many illnesses that start out being invisible and as the disease progresses it becomes more visible.

Also note that:

  • 26 million persons were considered to have a severe disability;
  • yet, only 7 million persons used a visible device for mobility.
  • Thus, 19 million of the people who were defined as severely disabled, did not use a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walkers.
  • In other words, 73% of Americans with severe disabilities do not use such devices.
  • Therefore, a disability cannot be determined solely on whether or not a person uses visible assistive equipment.

U.S. Department of Commerce (1994). Bureau of the Census, Statistical Brief: Americans With Disabilities. (Publication SB/94-1).U.S. Department of Commerce (1997). Bureau of the Census, Census Brief: Disabilities Affect One-Fifth of All Americans. (Publication CENBR/97-5).

  • b04 Statistics   Invisible Illness

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