Objective The objective of this study is to gain an understanding of the self-reported prevalence
of major aging-associated chronic diseases and conditions in elder Taiwanese.
Design and method--The data of this report were from “The Survey of Health and Living Status
of the Elderly in Taiwan (SHLSET),” a study involving a national representative sample of 4915 adults,
53 years or older. Face-to-face interviews elicited information on health and living status of participants.
This report deals with the “self-reported prevalence” of the major aging-associated chronic diseases.
Results The study revealed that women have higher self-reported prevalence of hypertension,
diabetes mellitus, heart disease and osteoarthritis. Thirty-eight percent of women compared to 31% of
men, 53 years or older, self-reported hypertension. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was also higher
for women than for men, averaging 16% and 13%, respectively. Similarly, the prevalence of
self-reported heart disease was 22% for women and 16% for men. Women also had higher
osteoarthritis, low-back pain and hip-fracture. Men had higher respiratory disorders (16% vs. 11%) and
gout (9% vs. 5%).
Conclusion Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, low back pain
and hip-fracture are the major aging-related chronic diseases among elderly Taiwanese. “Self-report”
appears to be a useful tool for gaining an overview of the prevalence of the aging-associated chronic
diseases. Such information is valuable for the health-care planners in planning strategic preventive
programs to reduce the adverse impacts of these aging-associated chronic diseases.
Asian Journal of Health and Information Sciences 1(1):16-30