Prevalence of Tobacco Use among Elderly Population in Rural Area of North Kerala: A Cross-Sectional Study

S A Thilak, K H Rajeev, B C Satheesh

Abstract


Background: Tobacco epidemic is biggest public health threats globally. Tobacco is one of the leading preventable causes of deaths worldwide and risk factor non-communicable diseases. Almost half of tobacco users will die prematurely. Global Adult Tobacco Survey India 2016–17 found that 41.4% of the elderly in India were current tobacco users and in Kerala was found to be 23%. However, studies focusing on the elderly tobacco use in rural areas of Kerala are infrequent. Hence, we conducted this study. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of tobacco use among the elderly population rural North Kerala. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted at rural field practice area of Kannur Medical College, Kannur. Sample size was 270 and multistage sampling with convenient sampling method used. Data were collected visiting homes using self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: Among 270 participants, the prevalence of current tobacco usage was 54.8%, among tobacco users 69.5% were smokers, 27.2% chewable tobacco, and 3.3% were using both. The tobacco usage among the males and females was 42.2% and 12.6%, respectively. Conclusions: The prevalence of tobacco use in our study was high and higher than the national average. The common type of tobacco used was cigarettes among men and smokeless form among women. Only few tobacco users planning to quit tobacco because of health problems and family pressure. Hence, creating awareness about the ill effects of tobacco may help them to quit tobacco.

Key words: Geriatric, North Kerala, prevalence, rural, tobacco


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