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Prevalence and Correlates of Major Chronic Illnesses among Older Kuwaiti Nationals in Two GovernoratesShah N.M.a · Behbehani J.a · Shah M.A.b
aDepartment of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait; bDepartment of Allied Health Sciences, University of Gujrat, Gujrat, Pakistan Corresponding Author
Nasra M. Shah
Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences
Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, PO Box 24923
13110 Safat (Kuwait)
Tel. +965 531 9485, Fax +965 533 8948, E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective: To provide community-based information on the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease and to highlight their significant correlates. Materials and Methods: Data were collected in a cross-sectional household survey of 2,487 Kuwaiti nationals aged 50 and over in 2005/2006. A proportionately representative sample of 1,451 respondents from a relatively more urban area (Capital) and 1,036 respondents from a relatively less urban area (Ahmadi) were interviewed. A proxy respondent was used in 5.4% of cases. Among the 2,605 potentially eligible persons approached, 2,487 (95.5%) participated. Results: Doctor-diagnosed prevalences of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease in the two governorates were reported to be 53.4, 50.6 and 17.5%, respectively. If the prevalence in the two governorates is reflective of the nation, a remarkable increase seems to have occurred since 1996. The prevalence of each of the three diseases increased linearly by age among both sexes. Comorbidity of the three diseases increased from 3.6 to 9.4 and to 20.9% among those aged 50–59, 60–69 and ≧70 years, respectively. Logistic regression showed the prevalence of chronic illnesses to be significantly higher among persons who were older, retired, non-Bedouin, less educated, had higher income, were less socially active, were obese and had poorer exercise behavior. The prevalence of diabetes and heart disease was significantly lower among women than men. Conclusion: Judging from data on two governorates, the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease is likely to have increased to alarmingly high levels among older Kuwaitis, highlighting the need for focused intervention programs in order to reduce morbidity and increase healthy life years.
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