Assessment of Knowledge about Side Effects of Tobacco use among Elderly Population of Rural Field Practice Area, North Karnataka
Author(s): Praveen Ganganahalli, Santosh D Patil, Mahesh B Tondare and Sandeep Yankanchi*
Introduction: Tobacco use is a major public health problem around the world, especially in developing countries. Currently, 5.4 million people die from tobacco-related diseases each year and 80% of those deaths occur in developing countries. Aging is most important risk factors for most chronic diseases. Tobacco cessation in older persons reduces the risks of cardiac disease, COPD, Cancer, functional impairments & improves tolerance for exercise. Objective: To assess the perception about the side effects of tobacco use among elderly people of rural field practice area. Methods: A Cross-sectional study was conducted in rural field practice area among old age (>60yrs) people for period of two months interviewed by using structured proforma containing questionnaires on socio-demographic profile, pattern of tobacco use, knowledge & perception about side effects of tobacco. Results: Among 106 elderly 38% found using tobacco (smokeless > smoking) with mean age 68±5 years. Awareness about side effects was low like tobacco causes cancer (40%), cardiac problem (41%), stroke (55%) and COPD (30%). Nearly half of the participants agree about tobacco in any form produces side effects, tobacco is addictive & cessation will improve the health. Both knowledge & perception was found low among all elderly interviewed. Conclusions: Elderly population are more vulnerable to engaging in risk behaviors like alcohol & tobacco use due to social & psychological reasons. It is need of the hour to educate them regarding relation between tobacco & health problems of old age people and benefits of cessation.