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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 558-562

Hypertension in the elderly: Prevalence and health seeking behavior

1 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Palanivel Chinnakali
Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry - 605 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.103314

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Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are major contributors of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Estimating the prevalence of hypertension and studying the health seeking behavior is important. Aim: This study was designed to estimate the prevalence of hypertension and understand the health seeking behavior among the elderly in rural Puducherry, south India. Materials and Methods: A total of 211 elderly from a rural community were selected by systematic random sampling. Blood pressure (BP) was measured. Socio-demographic characteristics and health seeking behavior were assessed by interviews. Results: Prevalence of hypertension among study participants was 40.5%. Prevalence of hypertension among elderly male subjects was 39.2% and in female subjects was 40.8%. About 62% (53 out of 85 hypertensives) were already aware of their hypertensive status. About 54.7% (29) were diagnosed at government health facilities either at primary health centers (PHCs) or a government hospital. Conclusion: Burden of hypertension among the elderly is high in rural areas. Strategies to detect and treat hypertension in the elderly have to be implemented early.

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