Bourne, Paul A.; McGrowder, Donovan A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Socio-demographic determinants of health status of elderly with self-reported diagnosed chronic medical conditions in Jamaica
Date of Publication
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 Jamaica, 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 respondents 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-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data from the sample. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the demographic characteristics of the sample; chi-square was used to investigate non-metric variables, and logistic regression was the multivariate technique chosen to determine predictors of poor health status. Results: Almost thirty six percent of the samples had poor health status. Majority (43.2%) of the sample reported hypertension, 25.4% diabetes 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 between health status and area of residence [÷2 (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 diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. Poor health status was more prevalent among those of lower economic status in rural areas who reported 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.....