July 7, 2022

Health Ministry survey: 75 million elderly Indians have some chronic disease

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As many as 75 million elderly people in India, or alongside, every one person in two with age of 60 years and above have some chronic disease condition, according to the initial compilation of the largest study in the world of the elderly people called as – The Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI), which was published on Wednesday.

As many as 40 per cent of them have disability, and about 20 per cent are coping with mental health issues. Adding to it, 27 per cent of the population group have multi-morbidities, which estimates to around 35 million people.

The survey has been conducted and implemented by the International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), Mumbai. KS James, director, IIPS said, “About 45 million have cardiovascular disease and hypertension and about 20 million suffer from diabetes, and 24% of the elderly has difficulty in performing daily functions such as walking, eating, toilet etc; according to this survey.”

James further added, “Even if we assume 90% of these people are taken care of at home, there is still 10% that would require professional help. Imagine the employment opportunities that will be generated in future and the number of people who would require training to take care of the elderly in our country.”

The Union Ministry of Healthy and Family Welfare initiated the study in 2016, to keep a track on the ageing patterns and diseases which are impacting 103 million people in India who come under the above 60 years category. Institutes such as Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and the University of Southern California had also collaborated in the survey.

With the increase in the life expectancy rate, the per cent of elderly people above 60 ears of age category has elevated from 9.2 % in 1990 to 11.7 % in 2013, which is anticipated to rise as high as 21.1% by 2050.

When the survey was commissioned, around 65 per cent of the India population fell into the below 35 years of age category and it is anticipated that people above 60 years of age will be around 350 million by 2050. So, the government is working towards recording the issues endured by the elderly people in the country and ho their problems can be assessed, evaluated and resolved.

Vandana Gurnani, mission director, Nationa Health Mission stated, “From 9% in 2011, the 60 plus population in the country is likely to go up to 20% in 2050. A common plan will be created for the care of elderly in the country using the findings of the LASI study for implementation in future.”

The sample panel of 72,250 people falling in the age group of 45 years and above which also comprises of 31,464 people in the age group of 60 years and above and also 6,749 people in the oldest category with age 75 and above were a part of the first wave of LASI.

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