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EFFECT OF LIVING ARRANGEMENT ON THE HEALTH STATUS OF ELDERLY IN INDIA: findings from a national cross sectional survey
Authors: Sutapa Agrawal
Source: Asian Population Studies, Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 87-101, DOI:10.1080/17441730.2012.646842
Topic(s): Elderly
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2012
Abstract: AbstractEpidemiological studies show strong association between lack/inadequate family support with increased mortality and poor health among the elderly. This study examined the effect of living arrangement on elderly health status by analysing the data of 39,694 persons aged 60 and above included in India's second National Family Health Survey conducted in 1998–1999. Results indicate that elderly who are living alone are likely to suffer more from both chronic illnesses, such as asthma and tuberculosis, and acute illnesses, such as malaria and jaundice, than those elderly who are living with their family, even after controlling for the effects of a number of socio-economic, demographic, environmental and behavioural confounders. The findings have important programme and policy implications for countries such as India, which has the second largest elderly population in the world. There is a strong need for the implementation of specific public support systems and health care strategies focused on the elderly population in general and elderly living alone in particular.