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Health Transit Rev. 1996;6 Suppl:233-44.

The health of the aged in India.

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Population Centre, Malleswaram, Bangalore, India.


Because of declining fertility, the proportion of the aged in the Indian population has risen. Although the rise has been modest, as shown by an increase in the population over 60 years of age from 5.5 to 7.0 per cent between 1951 and 1995, by the latter date, India's experience with 65 million people of this age is unusual. The paper employs data on persons 65+ years of age drawn from the 42nd Round of the National Sample Survey, and for the analysis subdivides them into three age groups, 60-64, 65-69 and 70+. It is shown that, among population over 60 years of age, 10 per cent suffer from impaired physical mobility and 10 per cent are hospitalized at any given time, both proportions rising with increasing age. Of the population over 70 years of age, more than 50 per cent suffer from one or more chronic conditions. The very limited support provided to the old by government is brought out by the fact that even in Karnataka, one of the states with the most generous provision, only 15 per cent of persons over 65 years of age receive any type of pension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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