Health threats and risk behaviors of the elderly in the semi-urban communities of Sung Noen District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province : Comparison between males and females
Thailand is in a situation of aging society, with the proportion of older women is higher than men and increasing. Care and services for the elderly should also consider the gender dimension. This descriptive research aimed to describe and compare health threats and risk behaviors between elderly men and women in the semi-urban communities of Sung Noen District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. The samples were 220 elderly people in Sung Noen municipality by sampling the elderly households from every communities using a simple random sampling method. Data were obtained from the elderly or household representatives aged 18 years and over using questionnaire. Data were described by percentage, mean and standard deviation and compared the proportion between male and female variables using Chi-square test. The results indicated that one-fourth of the studied variables were different between males and females. Elderly males had a higher health risk than females in smoking and drinking, meanwhile female elderly had higher health risks than male elderly in case of the waist circumference and not using seat belts while driving car. Elderly males and females had similar health risks in terms of high blood pressure or hypertension, high blood lipid, diabetes, activities of daily living, depression, not using a helmet while driving or traveling on a motorcycle, food consumption, physical activity or exercise, and sleep time on weekdays or holidays. The findings suggested that of the elderly in disease prevention, health care, and enhance the quality of life should be promoted in a form that allowed the elderly to make decisions and change behavior by themselves, taking into account the different factors between gender. Places and opportunities for the elderly to do activities together regularly should be provided and important assessments and screenings in the elderly should be performed continuously.