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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 188-193

Morbidity pattern and health-seeking behavior of aged population residing in Shimla hills of north India: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepak Sharma
School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.117421

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Background: Population aging is a global phenomenon. In India, the size of the elderly population is growing fast. Many older adults have multiple medical conditions. Understanding elderly health problems and health-seeking behavior is prerequisite for proving comprehensive geriatric care to them. Objectives: To assess the morbidity pattern and study the health-seeking behavior of the elderly people of Shimla district in Himachal Pradesh. Materials and Methods: A total of 400 elderly people aged 60 years and above were selected from urban and rural areas of Shimla hills in North India by simple random sampling. Statistical software Epi info software version 3.2 was used for analyzing data. Descriptive statistics were used to describe sociodemographic and morbidity variables. Results: The most common morbidity identified among them were musculoskeletal problems (55.0%) followed by hypertension (40.5%). Two third were seeking treatment for their health problems. Among older persons not seeking treatment for their medical condition, most considered these morbidities as an age-related phenomenon. Many perceived that the health services were too far. Conclusion: The high morbidity load among elderly in the present study stresses for efforts to provide better health care to them and thus ensure that they remain active members of our society. Residence emerged out to be most significant determinant of healthcare-seeking behavior. Policy makers must focus on rural elderly and their beliefs which prevent them from seeking healthcare.

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