A community based cross-sectional study on morbidity profile of elderly in a rural area of Puducherry

Arulprasad Radjasegarane, Kavita Vasudevan, Prakash Mathiyalagen, Arul Varman P., Lopamudra M., Lalithambigai Chellamuthu


Background: The proportion of elderly increases worldwide. India entered into the list of “greying nation”. The process of biological ageing brings with it various illnesses. This study was conducted with the objective of determining the morbidity profile of elderly people residing in a rural area.

Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among elderly aged 60 years and above residing in rural area of Puducherry. Simple random sampling was used to select two sub-centre areas among four, under the field practice area and all the eligible elderly individuals were included. House to house visit was made and after obtaining informed consent, the data were collected using a pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire and examination.

Results: A total of 954 individuals were included in the study of which 66.4% and 33.6% of them were females and males respectively (Mean: 68 ± 6.8 years). Acute and chronic illnesses were present among 4% and 47.7% of elderly individuals respectively. Hypertension (42.5%) was observed to be the predominant chronic illness followed by Diabetes (29.6%), Osteoarthritis (8.1%) and Asthma (7.9%), Visual problems (4.3%), Coronary artery disease (2.9%), Cerebrovascular accident (1.2%) and hearing problems (0.9%).

Conclusions: Chronic illnesses were more common among elderly than acute illnesses. Hence it is recommended to screen elderly individuals utilizing the platform of community based assessment for non-communicable diseases. The study also recommends implementing stringent tobacco control measures so as to curtail the silent epidemic of non-communicable diseases.


Chronic and acute illness, Elderly, Morbidity profile

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