Geriatric Disability and Associated Risk Factors: A Community Based Study in a Rural Area of West Bengal, India

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

Department of Community Medicine, Kolkata, India.

Abstract

Background: Similar to developed countries, aging is increased in India. Because of the epidemiology and demographic transition phase, chronic diseases and disabilities along with health costs are increasing day by day. As social factors and chronic diseases are the major reasons for geriatric disability, the present study was done with the following objectives: to assess and compare the socio-demographic characteristics among the disabled and non-disabled geriatric population, and to find out the association between socio-demographic and chronic diseases with functional disability among the study population. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done in a rural community of West Bengal, India. House to house visit, clinical examination, observation, and interview were done with a pre-designed, pre-tested proforma. Epi Info and SPSS software were used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 458 people had chronic conditions and the prevalence of disability was 17.47%. Among the socio-demographic variables, age, female sex, marital status, literacy status, and family composition and among the chronic diseases, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, ischemic heart disease, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, acid peptic disorder, prostatic hypertrophy, and osteoporosis were found as risk factors of disability in binary logistic regression analysis. 71.2% of the disabilities were explained by these risk factors. Conclusion: The data highlighted the different risk factors associated with disability. No single measure rather multi-dimensional approach should be the model for the prevention of disability.