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Tobacco and alcohol use in rural elderly Indian population

Authors
Journal
Indian Journal of Psychiatry
0019-5545
Publisher
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
Volume
47
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.43050
Keywords
  • Original Research Paper

Abstract

Background: Tobacco and alcohol use are serious health problems. Studies focusing on problems associated with tobacco and alcohol use in the elderly are limited. Aim: To find out the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use among rural elderly population. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the intensive field practice area of the Comprehensive Rural Health Services Project in Ballabgarh in Faridabad, Haryana, a rural field practice area of the Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The sample was selected using stratified random cluster sampling. The participants were ≥60 years of age at the time of interview. Data on tobacco and alcohol use pattern of 1117 elderly were collected during the interview. Results: The prevalence of smoking was 71.8% in men (n=490) and 41.4% in women (n=497). Among men smokers, 41.5% were light smokers (≤5 beedis/day), 42.9% were moderate smokers (6–20 beedis/day) and 15.6% were heavy smokers (>20 beedis/day). Among women smokers, 71.8% were light smokers, 23.8% were moderate smokers and 4.4% were heavy smokers. Regular alcohol intake was seen in 16.3% of the men compared with 0.8% of the women. Conclusion: The finding of a high prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption among men in this rural population of India is of serious concern and therefore needs remedial measures.

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