Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Age Trends in Anthropometric Characteristics among an Elderly Population of Bengalee Hindu Males in Calcutta, India

Academic journal article Mankind Quarterly

Age Trends in Anthropometric Characteristics among an Elderly Population of Bengalee Hindu Males in Calcutta, India

Article excerpt

A cross-sectional investigation of 210 Bengalee Hindu elderly men (aged-55 years and above) of Kalighat, Calcutta, India, was undertaken to study age trends in 15 anthropometric measures. The subjects were categorized into three groups: Group 1: 55-59 years (n = 40); Group 11: 60-69 years (n = 90), and Group 111: 70 years and above (n = 80). Results revealed that there were significant group differences with Group III (G 111) having significantly lower means for most variables compared with Group I (G I). Individuals in Group II (G IT) had intermediate values between G I and G III. Correlation studies demonstrated that there was a significantly decreasing trend, from G I to G III, in the relationship of age with these measures. It was observed that while age had a significant positive effect on fat mass (FM) in G I, it had significant negative effect in G II and G III. Age also had significant negative effect on percent body fat (PBF) and fat mass index (FMI) in G 11. In G III, age had significant negative effect on arm muscle circumference (AMC), arm muscle area (AMA) and FMI.

Results also revealed that PBF had significant negative correlations with AMC and AMA in age G I and G II, but not in G III. In general, there was a increasing trend of correlation between these measures from G I to G III. In G II the strength of the correlations were intermediate between G I and G III. Discriminant analysis showed that overall, 71.1% of all cases were correctly classified using these anthropometric measures. None of the individuals in G I and G III were misclassified into G III and G I, respectively. There was better discrimination in G 111 (87.5%) than in G 11 (74,4%) and G 1 (62.5%).

Key Words: Ageing, anthropometry, body fat, muscle

Medical advances and social changes in the recent past have altered the demographic structure of developing countries. As a consequence of increased average longevity, the proportion of older adults in the overall population is steadily increasing. India being a developing country, is expected to experience a rapid growth in her older (aged 55 years and above) population. According to the 1991 Census, the total aged population is approximately 109 million, or 12.9% of the total population. This percentage will increase to 14% by the year 2020 (Kinsella and Suzman, 1992). This emerging elderly population is expected to have many health problems, particularly with reference to the prevalence of degenerative diseases like non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), coronary heart disease (CHD) and hypertension (HT). The consequences of these increased prevalence will require greater attention and resources.

The non-invasive technique of anthropometry could used to provide information on health and nutritional status all ages including elderly individuals. Many studies (Burr Phillips, 1984; Chumlea et al., 1986; Shimokata et al., Micozzi and Harris, 1990; Yassin and Terry, 1991) have already been reported on health and nutritional status among elderly individuals utilizing anthropometry from different parts of the world. However, to date, no study has reported anthropometric information on the elderly in India.

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the effect of age on selected anthropometric variables and indices among elderly Bengalee Hindu males of Kalighat, South Calcutta, India.

Material and Methods

The study population of the present investigation consisted of 210 male individuals aged 55 years and above. They belonged to the Bengalee Hindu caste population residing in 88 ward at Kalighat, South Calcutta. Primary information including name, address and age of randomly selected 230 individuals were from the local voter list of 1998. Prior to measurement, verbal information was sent to all selected individuals. Out of 230 selected males, responses were available.

The subjects were requested to make an at their house. …

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