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Journal of the Korean Academy of Family Medicine 1991;12(1):36-46.
Published online January 1, 1991.
A comparative study of geriatric diseases in rural and urban areas.
Hye Soon Rhee, Youn Seon Choi, Eui Jung Hwang, Myung Ho Hong
일개 도시와 농촌에서의 노인질환의 비교연구
이혜순, 황의정, 홍명호, 최윤선
고려대학교의과대학 구로병원 가정의학과
It is a recent trend that the birth and mortality rates have been decreased and average life span prolonged in proportion to the socioeconomic and scientific advances.
More and more people live to a ripe old age, consequently elderly patients are steadily increasing.
This tendency is more remarkable in the rural areas where there is much drift of population comprizing the young and the matured.
This study purported to make a comparative investigation of the diseases among geriatric population in rural and urban areas.
Based uppon ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases), the author made a comparative study of all senior citizens beyond the age of 65 who were hospitalized to the Korea University hospitals at Kuro, an industrial city, and at Yoju, a rural town, from July 1986 to June 1989. The trends of population at the two places for the four years were investigated at the same time.
As a result, the following differences were noticed between two areas.
First, the increase rate of old population 65 years of age and over in the percentage of total population in the rural area far surpassed that in the urban industrial area, and so did the number of aged inpatients in the rural area accordingly.
Second, although there was little difference in the average number of geriatric diseases per inpatient, that of the industrial city being 2.4 and that of the rural town 2.1, the characteristic of each elderly patient were in general multiple nature.
Third, the industrial area abounded mostly with cardiovascular system disease, malignancy, GI tract diseases, endocrine system diseases. In particular, hypertension, D.M., lung cancer and etc. were more predominant in the industrial city. On the other hand, while the rural area also tended to give rise to cardiovascular diseases, GI tract idseases, respiratory system diseases, and infection, the rural town outnumbered the industrial city in the cases of COPD, spondylosis and arthropathy, tuberculosis, heart failure, drug intoxication, etc. (P<0.05).
Fourth, granting that there are these differences between the two areas, what was commonly shared by them was the marked tendency of more and more people reaching a great age, with the inevitable result of increasing geriatric inpatients. Besides, despite some differences in the order of predominant diseases, geriatric diseases of both areas were similar on the whole in that they were mostly characterized by slow and chronic processes.


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