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Socioeconomic Factors at the Intersection of Race and Ethnicity Influencing Health Risks for People with Disabilities
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    People with disabilities are known to experience disparities in behavioral health risk factors including smoking and obesity. What is unknown is how disability, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status combine to affect prevalence of these health behaviors. We assessed the association between race/ethnicity, socio-economic factors (income and education), and disability on two behavioral health risk factors.


    Data from the 2007–2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to determine prevalence of cigarette smoking and obesity by disability status, further stratified by race and ethnicity as well as income and education. Logistic regression was used to determine associations of income and education with the two behavioral health risk factors, stratified by race and ethnicity.


    Prevalence of disability by race and ethnicity ranged from 10.1 % of Asian adults to 31.0 % of American Indian/ Alaska Native (AIAN) adults. Smoking prevalence increased with decreasing levels of income and education for most racial and ethnic groups, with over half of white (52.4 %) and AIAN adults (59.3 %) with less than a high school education reporting current smoking. Education was inversely associated with obesity among white, black, and Hispanic adults with a disability.


    Smoking and obesity varied by race and ethnicity and socioeconomic factors (income and education) among people with disabilities. Our findings suggest that disparities experienced by adults with disabilities may be compounded by disparities associated with race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic factors. This knowledge may help programs in formulating health promotion strategies targeting people at increased risk for smoking and obesity, inclusive of those with disabilities.

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