New York State Department of Health Honors Veterans Day with Commitment to Ensuring Health Equity for All Veterans

New Report Finds Disabilities and Some Chronic Health Conditions More Common Among Veterans Than Non-Veterans

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 10, 2022) – In honor of Veteran's Day, the New York State Department of Health is reinforcing its commitment to ensuring its programs are aimed at eliminating health disparities that result in adverse health outcomes for all New Yorkers, with a focus on the health of the State's military personnel before, during, and after their service.

"Social and economic imbalances can have a devastating impact on the health and overall wellbeing of all New Yorkers but especially among veterans who may experience additional health issues related to their military service," State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said."The State is committed to ensuring our programs eliminate health inequities and address the needs of veterans so they can achieve optimal health."

An annual survey, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), conducted by the Department found an estimated 969,000 adults, or 6 percent of the adult population, are veterans, and that 13.5 percent of adults in New York aged 65 and older report past military service.

The report found disabilities are common among veterans, with 37 percent of veterans report at least one disability, compared to 26 percent of non-veterans. Of all adults who report serious difficulty hearing, 18 percent, or more than 1 in 6, are veterans.

Veterans aged 18 to 64 are more likely to report they engage in behaviors that put their health at risk, including smoking, and are more likely to report diagnoses of other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis than non-veterans in the same age group.

Veterans aged 65 and older are more likely to report a diagnosis of cancer or CVD compared to non-veterans in the same age group.

The State remains committed to monitoring veterans' health and health care utilization as part of ongoing chronic disease prevention and control efforts, using data collected in the annual report to estimate the size, demographics and health characteristics of the veteran population in New York, enabling the Department to focus on eliminating health disparities and ensuring every veteran attains their full health potential.

To learn more about the Department's programs for veterans, visit the Veterans Health page on the Department's website. Information about other veterans' health care services can be found here.