Objectives: The study estimates the prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among older adults and bring forth the urban-rural differentials in the said morbidities. The treatment-seeking approach of older adults is also looked at with regard to hypertension and diabetes.
Methods: The data for this study come from the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) conducted in 2017-18. Bivariate analyses were used to understand the rural-urban gap in hypertension and diabetes with socioeconomic and demographic parameters. Further, logistic regression was used to check the likelihood of hypertension and diabetes with socioeconomic and demographic variables. Finally, a non-linear decomposition technique, Fairlie’s decomposition technique was applied to check the difference in the probability of hypertension and diabetes between rural and urban by estimating contributions of a group (rural-urban) differences.
Results: Study noted a higher prevalence of hypertension and diabetes among elderly residing in urban areas than their counterparts. Prevalence of hypertension and diabetes was higher among those aged 70+, elderly females, less educated, and non-poor. Education status alone accounts for more than four-fifths (88.62%) and more than half (52.02%) of the inequality in the prevalence of urban-rural hypertension and diabetes, respectively. Elderly with higher education were 2.88 times (OR=2.88; C.I.= 1.40-5.90) more likely to sought treatment for hypertension than uneducated older people in urban areas
Conclusion: Since treatment-seeking is relatively low among elderly in poor households, practices must be identified for a poverty-stricken elderly population to overcome the financial barriers that may prevent the elderly from seeking and complying with treatment.