Geriatric Women: An Unheard Voice
Keywords:Elderly, geriatric, women, morbidity, health
Background: Geriatric age group constitutes 8.3% of Indiaâ€™s population, with sex ratio in favour of elderly women by 1022:1000. Health problems of women in geriatric age in particular have not been explored reasonably and therefore little attention from health planners was made available for geriatric women across the developing countries including India. Objectives: 1.To assess the magnitude and pattern of health problems in geriatric women, 2. To find out relation between socio-demographic factors and health problems of subjects. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among geriatric women aged 60 years and above (n=512), residing at Kalyanpuri, a resettlement colony in Delhi. An interview in their local language with the help of a pre-structured and pre-tested proforma along with physical examination was carried out. Diagnosis was made on the basis of history, clinical examination and available treatment and/ or investigation reports. Data was analysed using SPSS version 12. For comparison of proportions, chi-square test was used. Results: Out of 512 geriatric women, 80% belonged to 60-69 years age group.74.8% reported one or more morbidities. On an average 4 morbidities were found in most of the subjects. The most prevalent morbidity was arthritis (46.9%) followed by cataract (42.0%), acid peptic disorder (35.4%), oro-dental problems (34.6%) and respiratory problems (22.1%). Among the socio-demographic variables, age, literacy status, marital status were significantly associated with morbidities (P<0.05). Conclusion: Very high prevalence of morbidities was found among geriatric women, in the study area. This indicates the need for an accessible, affordable, pro-elderly, comprehensive health services in the community.
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