Author(s): Parray SH, Ahmed D, Ahmed M, Gaash B
Objective: To study the status and morbidity profile of elderly population in the Kashmir Valley Study Design: Cross-sectional study, with multistage sampling; pre-designed, pre-tested schedules (with close-ended questions). House-to-house visit covering all members aged more than 65 years living in rural/urban areas of district Budgam.
Subjects: Six hundred and ninety two persons aged 65 years and above (578 from rural and 114 from urban areas)
Results: Of 692 elderly registered in the study 321 were males and 371 females. Majority of the subjects (89%) was suffering from at least one medical problem. Morbidity in rural subjects was lower than the urban subjects. Females had a higher rate of morbidity. Common presenting symptoms were pain/swelling of joints (36.5%), backache(20.2%), indigestion/heartburn (17.7%), headache (17.4%) and excessive tiredness. Medical history and clinical examination revealed that most common diseases, in order of frequency, were hypertension (58%), osteoporosis (50.55%), cataract (18.51%), gastritis (17.67%) and BPH (13.14). Most of the elderly females had osteoporosis and males benign prostatic hyperplasia. Conclusion: Finding support need for paying more attention to the health needs of the geriatric population in J&K. There is an urgent need to develop geriatric health care services, and establish separate geriatric OPDs at all hospitals. Special hospitals are needed for mentally ill and badly incapacitated elders.