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

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Biological Markers and the Health of Older Indians

Portable, user-friendly diagnostics have increased the use of biological markers in national health surveys. The 2010 pilot wave of the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India used a comprehensive biomarker module to measure more accurately the burden of health risks and morbidity among older Indians in four pilot states. This paper presents results from the biomarker data collected during the LASI pilot wave and compares them with self-reports. When compared with self-reports, biomarker data revealed a greater burden of health risks and a higher prevalence of chronic disease. By showing the systematic variations in health status between LASI's self-reported data and biomarker data, the paper highlights the value of using biomarkers to establish more reliable estimates of health in national surveys. The biomarkers studied include blood pressure measurements, grip strength, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio, all of which provide valuable insights into health trends affecting older adults.

Murky Waters of Medical Practice in India

Pervasive greed in contemporary medical practice does not spare even the poorest of the patients. Medical expenses are now considered one of the major triggers of impoverishment in the country. A rapid influx of advanced technologies in areas ranging from drug discovery to diagnostics has generated a greater reliance on assistive technology by the practitioners of modern, Western medicine transforming patients into cases and physicians into technocrats. This paper is a contribution to the ongoing debate on the quality and standards of medical practice in India. It challenges the argument that markets can bring out the optimum in healthcare and shows how market forces have, in fact, militated against patient interests.
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