ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Higher Disease Burden in India’s Elderly

The disease burden among the elderly population is significantly higher compared to the younger population, according to the data from the 75th round National Sample Survey, 2017–18, which increases their vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. The footprint of elderly population in public facilities for inpatient and outpatient care has increased over the years. Financially, the elderly face far less burden in public facilities than in private facilities.

After its emergence in December 2019 from Wuhan, China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS–CoV-2), also called cor­onavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected 22.2 million individuals, with a mortality of 7.8 lakh across 216 nations as of 20 August 2020 (WHO 2020). In India also, more than 50,000 people have died due to COVID-19 in the same period. As the pandemic is unfol­ding, it is becoming evident that the ­elderly population is at higher risk of ­fatality due to comorbid conditions ­(Rothan and Byrareddy 2020). The health status of India’s elderly population is explo­red using data from the nationwide 75th round National Sample Survey (NSS), 2017–18, which was released in November 2019 (Government of India 2019). This is one of the latest available data on elderly health in the country at the ­moment. The aim of this exercise is to draw evidence-based understanding about the elderly population’s health that could help in providing some insights that would be useful for handling the current pandemic.

Data and Methods

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Updated On : 16th Oct, 2020

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