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The prevalence of disability in older people in Hai, Tanzania

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Felicity Dewhurst, Dr Matthew Dewhurst, Dr Catherine DotchinORCiD, Dr Stella Paddick, Professor Richard Walker


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Methods: we performed a community-based study of people aged 70 years and over in Hai, Tanzania. Participants underwent disability assessment using the culturally non-specific Barthel index (BI), and also clinical assessment for neurological disorders and memory problems. Results: in 2,232 participants, the age-adjusted prevalence of severe disability (BI < 15) was 3.7% (95% CI: 2.9-4.5) and the age-adjusted prevalence of moderate disability (BI: 15-18) was 6.2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 5.2-7.2]. Increasing age, female gender, memory problems and the presence of neurological disorders were all independent predictors of the presence of disability. Conclusion: in this study, the average disability level was lower than seen in most high-income countries. This may reflect increased mortality from disabling disease in low-income countries. Disability is likely to increase as the population of low-income countries ages and disease survival improves.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dewhurst F, Dewhurst MJ, Gray WK, Orega G, Howlett W, Chaote P, Dotchin C, Longdon AR, Paddick SM, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2012

Volume: 41

Issue: 4

Pages: 517-523

Print publication date: 19/04/2012

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afs054


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