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Socio-demographic determinants of health status of elderly with self-reported diagnosed chronic medical conditions in Jamaica

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2010.22017    5,067 Downloads   12,433 Views   Citations


Objectives: The aim of the current study is to examine the health status of elderly in rural, peri-urban and urban areas of residence in Ja-maica, and to propose a model to predict the social determinants of poor health status of elderly Jamaicans with at least one chronic disease. Methods: A sub-sample of 287 re-spondents 60 years and older was extracted from a larger nationally cross-sectional survey of 6783 respondents. The stratified multistage probability sampling technique was used to draw the survey respondents. A self-adminis-tered questionnaire was used to collect the data from the sample. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the demographic characteris-tics of the sample; chi-square was used to in-vestigate non-metric variables, and logistic re-gression was the multivariate technique chosen to determine predictors of poor health status. Results: Almost thirty six percent of the sam-ples had poor health status. Majority (43.2%) of the sample reported hypertension, 25.4% dia-betes mellitus and 13.2% rheumatoid arthritis. Only 35.4% of those who indicated that they had at least one chronic illness reported poor health status and there was a statistical relation be-tween health status and area of residence [χ2 (df = 4) = 11.569, P = 0.021, n = 287]. Rural residents reported the highest poor health status (44.2%) compared to other town (27.3%) and urban area residents (23.7%). Conclusions: Majority of the respondents in the sample had good health, and those with poor health status were more likely to report having hypertension followed by dia-betes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. Poor health status was more prevalent among those of lower economic status in rural areas who re- ported greater medical health care expenditure. The prevalence of chronic diseases and levels of disability in older people can be reduced with appropriate health promotion and strategies to prevent non-communicable diseases.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Bourne, P. and McGrowder, D. (2010) Socio-demographic determinants of health status of elderly with self-reported diagnosed chronic medical conditions in Jamaica. Health, 2, 101-111. doi: 10.4236/health.2010.22017.


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