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Women over 60: demographic, social and medical aspects


Author: Boris Gîlca
Degree:doctor of medicine
Speciality: 14.00.33 - Social Medicine and Management
Year:2006
Scientific adviser: Dumitru Tintiuc
doctor habilitat, professor, State University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Nicolae Testemitanu"
Institution:
Scientific council:

Status

The thesis was presented on the 11 October, 2006
Approved by NCAA on the 21 December, 2006

Abstract

Adobe PDF document0.45 Mb / in romanian

Thesis

CZU 616-055.2-053.9:314:316.6

Adobe PDF document 1.00 Mb / in romanian
117 pages


Keywords

demography, elderly women, socio-economic factors, morbidity

Summary

One of the essential characters of our time is the continuous increase, both in absolute numbers and percent, of the share of elderly in the population structure. This important phenomenon – the phenomenon of demographic transition, can be explained by the changes in the basic indicators measuring the natural population growth – birth rates and mortality rates – with a constant tendency of decrease. More particularly, the phenomenon is defined by the decrease of birth rates and fertility rates, and to a lesser extent by increases in life expectancy – “top” ageing. The total number of people over 60 worldwide has increased from 200 mln. in 1950 to around 650 mln. in 2005. In Republic of Moldova, the share of the elderly in 2002 was 21,6%, while in 2050 it is projected that their share will be 28,3%. There shall be 63 percent women among the elderly population. In this context, it needs to be mentioned that this disparity among the number of women and men shall persist. In order to improve the capacity of medical and social assistance for the elderly, particularly of elderly women, specific efforts need to be undertaken to assess demographic trends, to determine the social-hygiene, economic and medical factors that influence women’s health and wellbeing, to evaluate the levels and structure of morbidity, the volume of necessary medical and social services, and to develop evidence-based measures in providing assistance to the elderly. The purpose of the thesis herewith is to assess demographic, social and medical aspects related to elderly women (over 60) in the Republic of Moldova. To fulfil the objectives of the thesis, special studies have been made to assess demographic trends and peculiarities, as well as socio-economic factors that affect the health and wellbeing of elderly women; to evaluate the level and structure of morbidity among elderly women; to assess retrospectively the reproductive health and the climacteric period. The results of the research have stressed upon important differences related to the residence of the women, and factors that have primary influence over the health of the women: age, level of material wellbeing, monthly income, employment, place of residence and degree of access to information, chronic illnesses, handicaps and degree of dependency. Relationships with children also affect the health of elderly women. In rural as well as urban areas, the latter indicator registers positive values, constituting respectively 96,0% and 88,2%. The assessment of the level and structure of morbidity of women over the age of 60 indicates that their health is directly correlated with age and that chronic and degenerative illnesses prevail. This tendency confirms that the health of elderly women also requires specific attention and care. The retrospective assessment of the reproductive health of elderly women indicated a low level of knowledge and use of contraceptive methods, and a small percentage of first pregnancies culminating in deliveries. These data show that there may be negative repercussions over the reproductive health of the young generation, the children of the sample of women covered by the study, since they tend to follow the life experience of parents. The conclusion of the thesis may be considered the basis for a sanitary and social strategy, while addressing the identified factors may lead to influencing the level and structure of morbidity and improving indicators regarding the wellbeing of women.