The health of the “older women” in Accra, Ghana: results of the Women’s Health Study of Accra

Type Journal Article - Journal of cross-cultural gerontology
Title The health of the “older women” in Accra, Ghana: results of the Women’s Health Study of Accra
Volume 26
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers 299-314
The health of women residing in the developing countries is not limited to reproductive health conditions or infectious diseases. While these illnesses remain serious threats to a healthy life, as the population ages, the prevalence of illnesses considered to be of significance only in industrialized nations also increasingly afflicts the residents of the developing worlds. The health and well-being of the older women was evaluated in the 2003 Women’s Health Study of Accra. This community based survey and clinical and laboratory examination of 1,328 women identified a significantly high prevalence of malaria and chronic, non-communicable diseases in all age groups without regard to education level or income. Hypertension, diabetes and obesity are significantly prevalent in women age 50 years and older. The prevalence of conditions which adversely affect health and quality of life, including impaired visual acuity, poor dentition, pain and limitations with mobility is significant in the women age 50 years and older. While these data are specific to Ghana, they have the potential to be generalizable to women in other urban areas in transition. As the life expectancy is increasing in developing countries, an increased awareness and treatment of chronic health conditions in the older women is critical to ensure a healthy life as they enter their golden years.

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