A Study on Nutritional Status and Prevalence of Non Communicable Diseases among the Rural Elderly of Tamil Nadu: A Community Based Cross sectional study

International Journal of Research in Health Sciences,2014,2,2,604-609.
Published:April 2014
Type:Original Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Bayapa Reddy N1, L.Kalyan Viswanath Reddy2, M Pallavi 3, Nagarjuna Reddy4, Sireesha P5 

1Asst.Prof, Department of Community Medicine, Meenakshi Medical College Hospital & Research Institute, Enathur, Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, INDIA.

2Asst.Prof, Dept. of Health Management, College of Public Health and Health Informatics, University of Hail, Hail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

3Department of Biochemistry, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA.

4Department of Pediatrics Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamilnadu, INDIA.

5Department of Pediatrics Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamilnadu, INDIA.


Background: The elderly are one of the most vulnerable and high risk groups in terms of health status in any society. Nutrition is an important determinant of health in persons over the age of 60 years. Malnutrition in the elderly is often under diagnosed and neglected. Careful nutritional assessment is necessary for both the successful diagnosis and development of comprehensive treatment plans for malnutrition in this population. “You do not heal old age. You protect it; you promote it; you extend it [1].” Evaluation of nutritional status and chronic morbidity status are important for any health action plan. Aim: To estimate the nutritional status and prevalence of non communicable diseases among the rural elderly. Methodology: A community based Cross sectional study conducted during the period of December 2011 to June 2012. Persons aged 60 and above years and willing to participate into the study. Random sampling design was used; twenty three elderly were selected randomly from each of the selected villages. In final analysis a total of 571 individuals included for this study. Data was analysed by Chi squire and Z tests, at 95% confidence interval; p value less than 0.05(p<0.05) was consider for significant. Results: Out of the 571 elderly persons 297 (52.1%) were males and 274(47.9%) were females. Mean age for the entire study population was 69.8 +7.8 years. The mean weight of the studied elderly persons was 46.2+10.1 Kgs. Nearly half of the elderly 236 (41.3%) were undernourished (BMI<18.5), 297 (52.0%) were in normal nutrition or overweight 38 (6.6%). Majority of the elderly people were suffered with one or more chronic diseases. Mainly visual defects 400 (70.0%) followed by musculoskeletal system disorders 197 (34.5%), anaemia 122 (21.3%) and hearing defects 118 (20.8%). Conclusions and recommendations: This study will be important tool to plan the health actions. Geriatric nutritional centres as to be establish in the rural areas like that of ICDS to provide the adequate nutrition to the elderly. Old age pension scheme has to implement in all the states especially in the rural area for the elderly people to make them financially independent and it should be revised frequently based on consumer price index.

Distribution of Elderly Population According to the Body Mass Index