Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-127

Prevalence of psychiatric and physical morbidity in an urban geriatric population

Department of Psychiatry, AFMC and RINPAS, Kanke, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Suprakash Chaudhury
Department of Psychiatry, Ranchi Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Kanke, Ranchi - 834 006, Jharkhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21772643

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Background: With a rapidly increasing population of older aged people, epidemiological data regarding the prevalence of mental and physical illnesses are urgently required for proper health planning. However, there is a scarcity of such data from India. Aims: To study the frequency and pattern of psychiatric morbidity present and the association of physical illness with psychiatric morbidity in an elderly urban population. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional, epidemiological study. Materials and Methods: All the consenting elderly persons in a municipal ward division (n=202) were enrolled after surveying a total adult population of 7239 people. A door to door survey was undertaken where the participants were interviewed and physically examined. General Health Questionnaire-12, Mini Mental State Examination, CAGE Questionnaire and Geriatric Depression Scale were used in the interview apart from consulting the available documents. Other family members were also interviewed to verify the information. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test with Yates correction. Results: Psychiatric illnesses were detected in 26.7% while physical illnesses were present in 69.8% of the population surveyed. Predominant psychiatric diagnoses were depressive disorders, dementia, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol dependence and bipolar disorder. The most common physical illness was visual impairment, followed by cardiovascular disease, rheumatic illnesses, pulmonary illnesses, hearing impairment, genitourinary diseases and neurological disorders. Presence of dementia was associated with increased age, single/widowed/separated status, nuclear family, economic dependence, low education, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatic disorders and neurological disorders. Depression was associated with female sex, single/widowed/separated status, staying in nuclear families, economic dependence on others and co-morbid physical illnesses, specifically cardiovascular disorders and visual impairment. Conclusions: This study presented a higher rate of dementia and old age depression. The interesting association with several sociodemographic factors as well as physical illnesses may have important implications for health planning.



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