The health status of community based elderly in the United Arab Emirates

Margolis, Stephen Andrew, Carter, Tom, Dunn, Earl V., and Reed, Richard Lewis (2003) The health status of community based elderly in the United Arab Emirates. Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics, 37 (1). pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

Little is known about the elderly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country with both developing country features (high fertility rate, few elderly, strong traditional culture) and developed country characteristics (high-income economy, urbanized population, high growth rate of people aged 65+ years). In this cross sectional survey of 184 randomly chosen community based people aged 65+ years, the mean age was 71.8±6.3, 52% were female, 76% were married, 11% were literate, 89% lived in multi-generational households, 85% lived in households with servants and 15% had a personal servant. Health status was largely independent of age. Compared with the ambulatory aged USA population, the rate of functional independence in activities of daily living (ADL) (83%) was similar and chronic medical problems were less frequent, with the notable exception of diabetes (37% UAE, 10–12% USA). Almost all (95%) participants in this study rated their health as satisfactory or higher, compared with 82% of US ambulatory elderly. There appeared to be a significant under-diagnosis of psychological problems. In the presence of a high regard for traditional values, close family ties, universal practice of religion and high economic resources, the elderly in the UAE have a high level of health, which they maintain into their later years. There may be a need to substantially increase health care resources for aged care in the near future due to the high prevalence of diabetes, amount of hidden psychological morbidity and known demographic trends. Encouraging families to continue to provide home based long-term care may minimize the need for government intervention in this area.

Item ID: 9187
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6976
Keywords: aged care; Middle East; health status; ambulatory care
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 05:08
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111702 Aged Health Care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920502 Health Related to Ageing @ 100%
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