While 27% of elderly have multi-morbidities, around 40% have one or another disability and 20% have issues related to mental health, said the report that aims to provide a base for national and state-level programmes and policies for the elderly population.
The LASI, Wave 1, covered a baseline sample of 72,250 individuals aged 45 and above and their spouses. This included 31,464 people aged 60 and above and 6,749 aged 75 and above from all states and Union territories, excluding Sikkim.
“It is India’s first and the world’s largest-ever survey that provides a longitudinal database for designing policies and programmes for the older population in broad domains of social, health, and economic well-being,” health minister Harsh Vardhan said. “In the 2011 census, the 60+ accounted for 8.6% of India’s population, accounting for 103 million elderly people. Growing at around 3% annually, the number of elderly-age population will rise to 319 million in 2050.”
The survey used bio-markers based on direct health examinations to estimate the prevalence of chronic health conditions, including hypertension, visual impairment, overweight or obesity or under-nutrition and chronic respiratory diseases.
Around three-quarters of those 60 and above who were diagnosed with chronic conditions have been treated for hypertension (77%), chronic heart diseases (74%), diabetes mellitus (83%), chronic lung diseases (72%) and cancer (75%). More than half the elderly have been treated for stroke (58%) and bone or joint diseases (56%) whereas the treatment rate for neurological and psychiatric diseases is 41%.
The treatment rate for all chronic health conditions is higher among the elderly in urban areas.
The overall hospitalisation rate was 7% for adults aged 45 and above. In the 12 months prior to the survey, the hospitalisation rate increased from 6% among adults in the 45-59 age group to 8% among those 60 and above and 9% among 70 and above.
The survey also showed that about one-fifth of those 60 and above, who are officially retired, are currently receiving pension and an additional 3% are expected to receive it. A large proportion (78%) are neither receiving nor expected to receive pension. More than half of people aged 60 and above (54%) with 10 or more years of schooling, and who are officially retired, are receiving pension. In comparison, just 4% of those with no schooling get pension.
Social security coverage is significantly higher in smaller states and UTs where people are mostly engaged in full-time jobs and in public sector units. North, east and central Indian states have almost negligible social security coverage.