The health status of the elderly population of Iran in 2012
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Background: With advancing age comes dramatic increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, disabilities, and mental problems. This study was conducted to epidemiologically describe the health status of the elderly population of Iran. Material and Methods: People aged ?60 were selected. Mini-nutritional assessment, activity of daily living, geriatric depression scale questionnaires were administered. Physical diseases and risk factors were also investigated. For the purpose of this study, 1350 elderly individuals were randomly selected. Results: The mean age of sample was 69.1. ±. 7.3 and 65.9% were illiterate. From total, 727 (53.8%) had vision problems. The most common problem was cataracts with a prevalence of 305 (22.6%) patients who were either suffering from cataracts or had undergone a surgery for it. From 634 individuals who used dentures, 446 (70.3%) wore the same first denture for over 10 years, without being examined. 524 (38.8%) of our seniors spent their free time alone at home. 13.2% of women and 12.6% of men were dependent on others for at least one daily activity. In terms of nutrition, 70 (5.5%) of the elderly (46 women and 24 men) were severely malnourished with 554 (41.3%) (243 men and 311 women) at risk of malnutrition. Conclusion: The health status of the elderly in Iran was similar to other countries in the world. However there continues to be room for improvement. Taking into account the rapidly aging population of Iran, health providers, and policy makers are required to take steps at a national level and direct more resources into supporting the elderly population. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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