The health seeking behaviour of elderly population in a poor-urban community of karachi, Pakistan

Abdullah Ladha, Romaisa Shamim Khan, Awais Amjad Malik, Sana Farooq Khan, Beenish Khan, Irum Nawaz Khan, Samiullah, Waleed Tallat Kayani, Sarah Saleem

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To presents socio-demographic characteristics and health seeking behaviour of elderly and to determine frequency of Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension in elderly population of a poor peri-urban community in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted, targeting population aged 65 or above. A total of 438 respondents were interviewed after taking informed consent, between November 2005 and December 2005. Frequencies and Chi square values were calculated for different variables using SPSS 13.0. Results: Total population surveyed comprised of 438 elderly, 158 (36%) women and 280 (63.9%) men. Mean age for the population was 71.44 ± 7.74. A total of 238 (54.3%) elderly were found to be economically active. More than half (n=269, 61.4%) of the elderly were found to be illiterate. Only 72 (16.4%) of the elderly population were Diabetic and 132 (30.1%) were Hypertensive. Common symptoms that prompted elderly of Azam Basti to seek health care were fever (61.2%), generalized body aches (43.4%) and cough (40.4%). Over half of the (n=269, 61.4%) responders reported factors which deterred them from seeking health care, out of which 62% reported financial constraint as the commonest factor. Deterrence from seeking health care was associated with illiteracy (p=0.001) and living alone (p=0.06). Conclusion: The elderly population of this peri-urban community has financial constraints in seeking health care. Hypertension was found to be more prevalent among women as compared to men, ratio being 1:2. Less number of people knew they were diabetics; this might be attributed to ignorance and non-availability of investigations and screening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-92
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


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