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Journal of Nursing

Eating Disorder among Elderly Causing Heart Attack in Post Retirement Life

Harasankar Adhikari [email protected]

In the era of globalization growing elderly faces multifaceted problems range from absence of ensured and sufficient income to support themselves and their dependents, to ill-health, absence of social security, loss of social role and recognition, and non-availability of opportunities for creative use of free time in all societies of India in their post retirement. In developed countries population ageing substantially shifted in social programmes. But in developing society like India, these transfers will take place informally and will be accompanied by high social and psychological costs by way of intra-familial misunderstanding and strife. In the later years of life, arthritis, rheumatism, heart problems and high blood pressure are the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting the people. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in the elderly. They expect changes in cardiac anatomy, cardiovascular physiology and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. The habits of smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes mellitus remain important factors for elderly. Like various responsible factors, dietary/food intake is one. A study was conducted to explore the dietary habits among elderly and how it was a responsible factor of increasing incidents of heart attack.

For the purpose of the study, 100 elderly populations of 60-70 years selected regardless of their gender, socio-economy, education, family relation and so forth. They were interviewed in a reputed hospital namely Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences of Kolkata Metro City of eastern India where they admitted for their treatment after their heart attack. The medical practitioners and family members of elderly patients assisted also.

From the study, it was revealed that 70% of them was suffering from heart problem after taking heavy fatty foods and of them 40% was diabetic. Majority of them was male(83%) and they mostly belonged to Hindu. About 74% of them was from urban area and all of them was financially better off. The male participants were the habits of smoking and only one-fourth of them was alcoholic. Inspite of strict monitoring of their family members, they faced heart attacked after taking food from ceremonial party or otherwise. Among them, 22% were experienced for second time. In their working life, they had struggled a lot for maintaining their family’s liabilities and responsibilities as functional head and their disiredness for some foods was unfulfilled. Secondly, the younger off-springs did not get much time for the care of elderly due to their own career life. The caregivers rather than family members paid a routine job to assist the elderly. Moreover, maladjustment, rigidity and demandingness of elderly were causes of neglect. In their rest life, they used to consume various foods and the myth was enjoyed food because they would be died any day.

So, the control of eating habits might longer their survival and for this they need counseling and guidance with supervision of their family members or immediate caregivers.

Reference :
1. Siva Raju, S. Health of the Elderly in India: Issues and Implications, Tata Institute of Social Sciences: Bombay; 2002
2. Gore, M.S. The Elderly in an Ageing Society, Contributed to Volume IV of Encyclopedia on Ageing, Japan; 1993

3. Purohit, CK, Sharma, R. A Study of Aged 60 Years and Above in Social Profile. Indian Journal of Gerontology. 1972 ; 4 (3&4): 71-83

4. Joshi, CK. Medical Problems of Old Age. Indian Journal of Gerontology,1997; 4 (3 & 4): 123-129

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