Tobacco use triggers multi – morbidity among the elderly

Tobacco use is responsible for causing multi-morbidity among the elderly, thereby accentuating the burden by non-communicable diseases in Kerala, according to a new study.

The seven-state study, published in a recent edition of BMJ Open (a leading online, open access journal on medical research), has brought out that Kerala has the highest prevalence of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

A high 45.5 per cent of 9,852 adults aged 60 or more were found to be an ever tobacco user or those who had used tobacco at least once in their lifetime, found the study conducted using data collected by the United Nations Population Fund.

Hospitalisations within one year due to chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were higher among ever tobacco users as against non-users, it said. The study considered 12 NCDs such as arthritis, high-blood pressure, cataract, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, paralysis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.

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