Rising challenge of multiple morbidities among the rural poor in India: a case of the Sundarbans in West Bengal
The evidence underlines the need for attention to the issue of multiple morbidities in a fast aging population of the country’s rural poor
Background: Multimorbidity or multiple chronic conditions increase with age and imply complicated clinical management and lower quality of life that is compounded by poverty. Yet, there is a serious dearth of evidence on this issue.
Objective: To explore the burden and predictors of multiple morbidities in the Sundarbans of West Bengal.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of respondents aged older than 40 years was carried out in the remote islands of Sundarbans in India. A clinical algorithm was used to assess the burden of six chronic conditions, along with the risk factors. Partial proportional odds regression was used to analyze the differentials of multimorbidity.
Result: The crude prevalence of multimorbidity was 44.05%, and it was higher among women. The adjusted odds of showing multimorbidity increased with age and BMI in both the genders. Increase in education (OR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.27–0.85), employment (OR: 0.33; 95% CI: 0.16–0.67), and sufficient vegetable intake (OR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.28–1.00) were significant predictors among the rural male population.
Conclusion: The study provides evidence on an often ignored aspect of noncommunicable diseases in India. The evidence underlines the immediate need for attention to the issue of multiple morbidities in a fast aging population of the country’s rural poor.
This research is supported by the Department for International Development’s Future Health Systems programme which is led by Johns Hopkins University
Vadrevu, L.; Kumar, V.; Kanjilal, B. Rising challenge of multiple morbidities among the rural poor in India?a case of the Sundarbans in West Bengal. International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health (2016) 5 (2) 343-350. [DOI: 10.5455/ijmsph.2016.25082015129]