Tobacco and alcohol use in rural elderly Indian population.
ABSTRACT Tobacco and alcohol use are serious health problems. Studies focusing on problems associated with tobacco and alcohol use in the elderly are limited.
To find out the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol use among rural elderly population.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in the intensive field practice area of the Comprehensive Rural Health Services Project in Ballabgarh in Faridabad, Haryana, a rural field practice area of the Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The sample was selected using stratified random cluster sampling. The participants were >/=60 years of age at the time of interview. Data on tobacco and alcohol use pattern of 1117 elderly were collected during the interview.
The prevalence of smoking was 71.8% in men (n=490) and 41.4% in women (n=497). Among men smokers, 41.5% were light smokers (</=5 beedis/day), 42.9% were moderate smokers (6-20 beedis/day) and 15.6% were heavy smokers (>20 beedis/day). Among women smokers, 71.8% were light smokers, 23.8% were moderate smokers and 4.4% were heavy smokers. Regular alcohol intake was seen in 16.3% of the men compared with 0.8% of the women.
The finding of a high prevalence of smoking and alcohol consumption among men in this rural population of India is of serious concern and therefore needs remedial measures.