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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-17

Prevalence of disability and handicaps in geriatric population in rural South India

1 Assistant Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, India
2 Technical Officer, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, India
3 Senior Research Officer, National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
T Venkatorao
National Institute of Epidemiology, Mayor V.R. Ramanathan Road, Chetput, Chennai-600031
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15989154

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Proportion of aged persons in India is increasing and is expected to be around 70 million by the end of the year 2000. The epidemiological consequences would be increase in the geriatric problems, particularly, impairments, disabilities and handicaps There are not many community-based studies using the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH). The main objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of disabled in the elderly population (aged above 60 years) in a district of south India using ICIDH classification.Thirty villages were selected using probability proportional to size linear systematic sampling (PPSLSS) from Villupuram health unit district in Tamilnadu in south India. One hundred and five households were selected from each selected village by using linear systematic sampling. A structured proforma was administered to 974 subjects to obtain information on disability as perceived by rural geriatric population.Visual disability was found to be the most important single preventable disability (56%). Only 33% of persons with visual disability wore spectacles. A decline in social interaction was reported.There was an urgent need to strengthen health care activities related to geriatric health care to improve the quality of life of the elderly population, including care of vision in particular.

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