Yonsei Med J.  1998 Oct;39(5):417-423. 10.3349/ymj.1998.39.5.417.

Health status of urban and rural elders in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Korea. iyoo@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr

Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to describe the differences in health status between urban and rural elders in Korea. The sample consisted of one thousand one hundred non-institutionalized individuals, aged 65 or over, living in three metropolitan cities and two rural provinces. The modified Cornell Medical Index, ADL, IADL, and existing medical diagnosis were used to measure the health status of the elders. Rural elders reported significantly more health problems than urban elders. Differences in ADL and IADL scores were not statistically significant. There was a difference in the types of health problems between the urban and rural elders. While more rural elders reported that they were diagnosed as having neuralgia and arthritis, more urban elders reported that they had diabetes. The results of this study demonstrated that rural elders had significantly more health problems than urban elders even after all the other variables were controlled. However, in Korea, most health care resources available to elders are concentrated in large urban cities. This study suggests that it is important to invest more health care resources in rural areas to meet the needs of all elders in Korea.

Keyword

Health status; elderly; urban and rural elders

MeSH Terms

Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Aging/physiology*
Comparative Study
Female
Health Status*
Human
Korea
Male
Rural Population*
Urban Population*
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