Virginia Health Promotion for People with Disabilities at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University

Promoting healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities

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Prevention of Secondary Conditions

A nurse smiles at a woman in a wheelchair

“Disability is a part of human life, and an impairment or condition does not define individuals, their health, or their talents and abilities.”

According to Health Status of Virginians with Disabilities 2007-2009: An Analysis of BRFSS Data, people with disabilities have higher rates of chronic disease and secondary health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Access to preventative screenings and routine health services may be limited due to lack of health and dental insurance, transportation needs, health care accessibility, and lack of communication accommodations.

The risks for chronic disease and secondary health conditions can be minimized and prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle centered on physical activity and exercise, balanced nutrition, regular health checkups, and ongoing management of personal health care issues.  Regular physician visits for preventive care and routine screenings, such as oral care and general health care needs, are a crucial factor in helping to reduce risks for conditions such as periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Healthy Living - nutrition & exercising

Programs serving people with disabilities can improve good health across the lifespan through support services that enhance access to health care and consumer health education programs.  For more information about evidence-based health and disability training programs go to the Training & Events page.

More information can be found on the Accessibility, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Disability Publications, and Links pages.