Comparison of physical conditions and lifestyles between adults and the elderly in suburbs of Laos

  • R. Zota
  • R. Takahashi
  • K. Yamamoto
  • T. Yoza
  • S. Saima
  • H. Osada


Spread of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is a major problem not only in developed, but also in developing countries. The main cause encouraging NCDs, especially lifestyle diseases, is the urbanization of people’s lifestyles. This study investigated lifestyles and health conditions of the elderly and adults living in the suburbs of Laos. Participants were residents (n=513) in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. BMI and blood pressure were measured and a questionnaire on perceived health and lifestyles was conducted. Participants were classified into two groups: adults (less than 65 years) and the elderly (65 years and older). Then, questionnaire scores items were compared. BMI and the obesity rate in adults were significantly higher than in the elderly. Blood pressure (BP) and the rate of people with hypertension was significantly higher in the elderly. Current perceived health was significantly higher in adults. Significant differences were not indicated in the frequency of exercise. Intake of rice and fish was significantly higher in the elderly, whereas that of eggs and meat was significantly higher in adults. Alcohol intake was significantly higher in adults, whereas no significant differences were shown in the smoking rate. The obesity rate in adults was higher than in the elderly. Because of the growing economic activities in urban areas, people have come to have a rich diet. Moreover, the amount of exercise and calorie consumption has decreased because of the spread of motorization. Though the elderly seems to have a healthier diet compared to adults, they are also affected by environmental changes.
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