oa Central African Journal of Medicine - The pattern of medical illness in a community of elderly Nigerians

Volume 39, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A community survey of Nigerians aged 60 years and above was carried out. Nine hundred and fifty one subjects were interviewed by trained nurses. Seven hundred and fifty nine (79pc) had physical examination carried out on them. It was found that musculoskeletal, dental, ocular and cardiovascular disorders were the commonest problems in this group of people. Poor dental hygiene, anaemia and goitre were problems significantly associated with living in rural areas, while hypertension was comoner in urban area, but this did not reach significance at five pc level. The results show that about one out of five elderly Nigerians suffer from chronic disabling conditions such as osteoarthritis and 2,4 pc of them were diabetic. The impact of these chronic diseases on the health of the elderly Nigerians is discussed and suggestions made for health promotion interventions and treatment programmes.

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