Determinants of health status of the elderly in Bangladesh

Kalam, I.M. Shafiqul and Khan, Hafiz T.A. ORCID: (2005) Determinants of health status of the elderly in Bangladesh. In: International Conference on Mainstreaming Ageing in Health Systems and Rural Development, 29 - 30 Nov 2005, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Unpublished)

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Population ageing is popularly recognized as the process by which older individuals become a proportionally larger share of the total population. Globally the number of older persons has tripled over the last 50 years (1950-2000) and it will be more than triple again over the next 50 years (2000-2050). In Bangladesh, the number of elderly has projected to be 42.2 million by 2050. Ageing of population is a relatively a new demographic phenomenon in Bangladesh but it has profound impact on our existing economic, political and social system. As more people live longer, retirement, pensions and other admissible social benefits tend to extend over longer periods of time. This makes it necessary for social security systems to change substantially in order to remain effective. For example increasing longevity may result in rising medical costs and increasing demands for health services, since older people are usually more vulnerable to chronic diseases. In this paper sample data is being used in order to assess some of actual demographic, socioeconomic and health conditions of the elderly citizen of Bangladesh.

To identify such important factors both bivariate and multivariate analysis were carried out. The differentials in ‘prevalence of diseases’ and ‘duration of sufferings’ have been examined across the selected background characteristics of the elderly. Analyses show that some of the selected demographic and socioeconomic characteristics do have significant association with ‘prevalence of diseases’ and ‘duration of sufferings’. Age, sex, marital status, family structure, size of the household are found to have some association with both these dependent variables. Age, sex and marital status of the elderly seem to be highly associated. Elderly citizens aged more than 70 and particularly women were found to have been suffering more. Marital status also found to be highly significant determinant in the case of prevalence of diseases. Married couples usually care for each other and share mental and physical agonies for each other. On the contrary, those who are unmarried, separated, widowed or divorced usually deprived from adequate required attention and care. Analysis also reveals that the prevalence of diseases among the currently married elderly citizens were less than those who were unmarried, separated, widowed or divorced.

The existence and extent of ageing of population in Bangladesh are becoming a real problem in the years to come. The elderly citizens should not be considered as a burden or liability. Rather they senior citizens should be considered as valuable human resources, whose residual capacity and rich experience should be properly utilized for the over all socio-economic development of the society. Their ability to lead productive, healthy and meaningful lives should be ensured by the younger generations and the government respectively. It is anticipated that the findings of the study will help the planners and policymakers to offer a better society.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Medicine and health
Social sciences
Depositing User: Hafiz T.A. Khan
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2013 10:08
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:08

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