Chronic Morbidity and Reported Disability among Older Persons from the India Human Development Survey

Pamar, C. & Saikia, N. ORCID: (2018). Chronic Morbidity and Reported Disability among Older Persons from the India Human Development Survey. BMC Geriatrics 18 (299) 10.1186/s12877-018-0979-9.

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Background: The burden of disability and chronic morbidity among the elderly has been increasing substantially in India in recent years. Yet, the use of nationally representative data to investigate the relationship between chronic morbidity and reported disability in the country has been minimal.

Aim: The objective of this study is twofold: i) to quantify the association between chronic morbidities and overall disabilities in the activities of daily living (ADLs) among elderly people in India, and Ii) to understand how various chronic morbidities influence individual ADLs, specifically, walking, toileting and dressing.

Data and methods: We used data from the Indian Human Development Survey-II (IHDS-II) as a basis for this study. We computed the Katz Index of independence in ADL to examine the burden of disability among the elderly. Ordered logistic regression was carried out to examine the effect of chronic morbidities on: i) the disability index (where 0=no disability; 1=disability in 1 or 2 ADLs; and 2=disability in 3 ADLs), and ii) disabilities in three ADLs in the population over-60 years of age in India.

Results: The percentage of people scoring lower Katz index (indicating severe and mild disability) in at least one of the three ADLs is very high in India (17.91% for males and 26.21% for females). Irrespective of the type of ADL, the Katz score is lower in elderly females than in elderly males. Elderly people who are illiterate and belong to the poorest wealth quintile report lower Katz scores in ADL. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses confirm that all three types of chronic morbidities are positively and significantly associated with a disability condition in the ADLs. Yet, the effects of morbidities vary greatly according to the type of disability. For instance, while diabetes affect walking (OR: 2.56; 95% CI: 2.29-2.86), and toileting (OR: 2.63; 95% CI: 2.26-3.07), high blood pressure (BP) mainly affects walking (OR: 2.29, 95% CI: 2.09-2.5) and dressing disabilities (OR: 2.13, 95% CI: 1.84-2.46).

Conclusion: Chronic morbidity is a decisive factor in old age disability. It is crucial to reduce chronic morbidity in a timely way to minimise the enormous associated burden of disability.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: activities of daily living; ADL; ageing; disability; morbidity; Indian Human Development Survey; IHDS; India; Katz index; Katz score
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 08:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:31

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