Geriatric health: need to make it an essential element of primary health care.
Within the next few decades, we will see an extraordinary increase in the number of older people worldwide. The public health benefit of preventive medicine in old age comes from the compression of the time spent in dependency to a minimum. A community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the morbidity profile of the geriatric population in a rural area of Maharashtra. A total of 214 subjects, of age 60 years and above, were examined. Data were collected by structured interviews and clinical and laboratory examinations. Out of the total of 214 subjects, 190 were suffering from some or the other diseases and the major morbidities were visual (56%), musculoskeletal (38.3%), respiratory (32.7%), and hypertension (28%). Anemia was present in 62.6%, 5.61% had Diabetes Mellitus and 22.5% were found to be overweight. The average morbidity load was 2.61. The rising morbidities clearly showed that a regular, complete health checkup of the elderly should be embedded in the essential elements of the Primary Health Care. This would reduce the morbidity, improve the quality of life, and facilitate 'Active Aging'.
Agrawal, S; Deo, J; Verma, AK; Kotwal, A
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