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Multimorbidity among midlife women in India: well-being beyond reproductive age

18 April 2022


Ageing is an inevitable natural process usually related to declining health conditions. There are no universal criteria for healthy ageing but can be broadly regarded as the maintenance of robust physical, mental, and social health, leading to overall well-being [1]. The demographic and epidemiological transition in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) has led to a rise in the co-existence of two or more long-term conditions known as multimorbidity [2]. Estimates suggest that adults aged 45 or more will constitute over 40 percent of the Indian population by 2050 [3]. Recently, Puri et al. [4] reported the results of a descriptive study aimed at determining the magnitude and correlates of early onset of multimorbidity and explore its linkages with selected indicators of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among mid-aged women from India. The authors used for the analysis data of a total of 23,951 women aged 45-65 from the first round of the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI, 2017-2019). Ordered logistic regression was conducted and proportional odds reported to identify the correlates of multimorbidity. Multimorbidity was reported in 29.8% of the mid-aged cohort. Punjab state and Chandigarh, its capital, reported the highest prevalence of multimorbidity (52.8 per 100 women and 54.8 per 100 women, respectively). Women with multimorbidity reported compromised HRQoL indicators such as self-rated health, work-limiting health conditions, mobility, and daily living activities. The authors conclude that multimorbidity is increasingly prevalent in mid-aged women and associated with impaired quality of life. Recommendation is that reproductive health programs should be carried out for women, focusing on mid-life multimorbidity and overall well-being.

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