NEW DELHI, JANUARY 7: A nationwide study of people aged 45 years and older has found 40% with lung disease and that 1 in 5 need help for activities of daily living.
The study, probing health in a manner never before and also the first in India that plans to track a large sample of an ageing population over time, has also found that 1 in 10 persons above 45 years has sleep problems and that 1 in 10 practises yoga.
The Longitudinal Ageing Study of India, released by the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday, has found that 19.5% of people, or nearly 1 in 5, had undiagnosed high blood pressure. One in 4 (26%) had at least one chronic health disorder.
It found that 6% reduced sizes of their meals and 5% went hungry for lack of enough food and 4% had gone without a meal for a full 24 hours at least once because they had nothing to eat. In 3 states ~ Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh ~ 10% or higher reported going hungry.
“The real wealth of this study lies in some measurements never done before,” said Sanjay Kumar Mohanty, a senior Health Researcher at the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai, and a study team member.
The observation made through lung function measurements that nearly 40% of people above 45 years have restricted lung disease is a “major finding”, Mohanty told The Telegraph.
“These findings are in line with independent data pointing to lung disease as the second leading cause of death in India after cardiovascular diseases,” Mohanty said.
The LASI study proposed over 8 years ago by researchers at the IIPS and other collaborating institutions seeks to provide insights into the picture of life for ageing Indians that researchers and policy makers could use to propose interventions.
In the study, supported by the Health Ministry, the US National Institutes of Ageing and the United Nations Population Fund, researchers visited 40,000 households across India to create datasets on over 72,000 people, aged 45 years or older.
“What we now have is a first snapshot ~ the goal is to follow up on these people in the years to come,” Mohanty said. Such a study has not been done in India before.
Among the measurements not performed nationwide earlier are the levels of abuse faced by people aged 60 years or older. It found 5% of the elderly face abuse.
Sons-in-law and daughters-in-law were a slightly smaller source of abuse than children and grandchildren. Among those abused, 37% reported abuse from children or grandchildren, and 35% reported abuse from sons or daughters in-law.