||Elo R, Haro AS & Hakkarainen A
||Ageing and related social problems of tuberculotic
||SCAND J RES DIS 1972, 80(supp), 171-185.
Using the data of the National TB Register, and
reports from the Satakunta sanatorium, Finland, it was shown that
the educational and occupational levels of new cases of TB among
persons of more than 50 years of age remained comparatively unchanged
in Satakunta during the period 1954-1969. In comparison with the
total population of the same age in 1960, aged TB patients had a
lower educational and occupational status. The level of housing
of tuberculotic patients was found to be about the same as the total
population in 1960. During the same period, the incidence of TB
among those of 50 years and above did not change noticeably, whereas
a complete change was observable with regard to the situation of
younger age groups. In the current situation, with the influence
of recent infection being practically excluded, it appears that
the incidence of TB in old age cannot be influenced by purely social
action, for example, by improving the level of housing. Instead,
priority should be given to medical treatment.
A comparison of incidence rates and hospital utilization
rates of the aged indicates that these two phenomena are almost
parallel. This similarity lends support to the concept that patients
have been hospitalized mainly for medical reasons. The occupational
status of new cases of TB and discharged patients remained almost
the same for a decade. This further indicates that social conditions
were not decisive in the selection of patients for care. Not until
after the mid-sixties did the aged attain the level of utilization
of hospital services which could be anticipated on the basis of
morbidity rates. A rough forecast is made of the estimated development
in the near future: the number of persons of more than 50 years
of age in 1980 would be about 80 percent of hospitalized patients.
|KEYWORDS: SOCIAL PROBLEM; HEALTH CARE; UK.