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Porapakkham Y, Pattaraarchachai J, Aekplakorn W
Correspondence: Dr Wichai Aekplakorn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction This study aims to determine the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and both conditions combined, and to examine factors related to awareness, treatment and control among the elderly in Thailand.
Methods Data from a multistaged National Health Examination Survey III of 19,374 individuals aged 60 years and older in Thailand was used. Information on the socioeconomic status was obtained by interview. Blood pressure was measured with a sphygmomanometer. Fasting plasma glucose was obtained. Logistic regression models were used to examine the determinants of awareness, treatment and control of blood pressure and plasma glucose.
Results Age-adjusted prevalence of hypertension was 51.1 percent, diabetes mellitus 14.0 percent, and diabetes mellitus with hypertension 8.0 percent. Overall, the proportion of unawareness for hypertension, diabetes mellitus and both conditions combined were 56.1, 41.2 and 21.9 percent, respectively. For those undergoing treatment for the control of blood pressure (less than 140/90 mmHg) was 12.4 percent, diabetes mellitus (fasting plasma glucose less than 140 mg/ dL) 26.4 percent, and control of both conditions combined was 7.4 percent. Factors associated with unawareness and inadequate controls of the illnesses were subjects from rural areas, with low income, low educational levels, currently working, and the oldest age group.
Conclusion There was a high prevalence of hypertension and diabetes mellitus among the older people in Thailand, with high percentages of unawareness and inadequate control for those treated. Screening programmes for early detection, treatment and control of hypertension and diabetes mellitus need to be improved.
Keywords: diabetes mellitus, disease prevalence, elderly patients, geriatrics, health awareness, health screening, hypertension
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(11): 868-873