A study to assess the prevalence of anemia and activities of daily living among elderly population residing in a South Indian rural community
Keywords:Geriatric, Rural, Anemia, ADL, Prevalence
Background: As we age the interface between health & illness blurs. Balance gradually shifts from health to disease. While health is usually inversely related to age, disease is directly related to ageing both in number & severity. Anaemia is defined as reduction in the red cell mass. The WHO criteria for anaemia are haemoglobin less than 13gm/dl for men and 12gm/dl for women. The same criteria can be applied for the elderly. The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of anemia among the geriatric population group and their activities of daily living.
Methods:The study was carried out at the community level, of the field practice area of Department of Community Medicine, MGMC&RI, Puducherry from Jan 2010 to Dec 2010. All the persons aged 60 years and above were listed. Samples were selected proportionately according to geriatric population of individual villages. Simple Random Sampling was used to select the study sample of 360 from the list. House to house visits was made to collect the data. WHO criteria were used to classify anemia. PADL and IADL from KATZscale were used for assessing ADL.
Results: In our study Anemia was prevalent in 344 of the subjects (96%). Females were more anemic (98%) than males (92%). Out of the 360 elderly studied five males (1%) were fully dependent followed by 101 (28%) partially dependent and 254 (71%) were independent for their daily activities. Only males were fully dependent. More elderly females were partially dependent. Majority of the males (73%) independently managed their day to day activities.
Conclusions:The increase of demographic ageing process in our country in general and in our study area in particular has a series of socio-economic problems as well as health problems. Problems of the elderly are mostly not due to ageing per se but also largely due to psychosocial environment, diminishing family system, support and changes in life situation.
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