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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 221-225

How healthy is our geriatric population? a community-based cross-sectional study

Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Sherin S Paul
Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 209, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: The study has received fluid research grant from Christian Medical College, Vellore., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.154653

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Introduction: With the rise in aged population there is a greater need to look into their nutritional and physical disability aspects which is otherwise neglected. The study aimed to assess the prevalence of malnutrition, anemia and physical disability among the community-dwelling aged population. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a rural block of north Tamil Nadu. Seventeen villages were selected using cluster sampling based on probability proportional to size. A total of 340 participants of age 60 years and above were selected from these clusters using simple random sampling. Nutritional status and physical disability were assessed using mini nutritional assessment scale and Barthel index. Blood samples were collected for anemia. Appropriate data entry and statistical analysis were done in EPIDATA and SPSS 16. Statistical Analysis Used: Besides calculating prevalence chi square and logistic regression tests were done to identify associated risk factors. Results and Conclusions: The overall prevalence of "at risk of malnutrition," anemia and physical disability were 10.9%, 38.2% and 20.6%, respectively. None of the community-dwelling aged population was found to be malnourished. Anemia and physical disability were significantly higher among the older age group [(OR 2.29 (1.17-4.89), (OR 2.81 (95% CI 1.31-6.04), respectively]. Similarly women were more affected with physical disability than men (OR 2.27 (1.28-4.02)). Further studies need to be done to explore the reasons for high prevalence of anemia.

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