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Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
Medknow Publications on behalf of Indian Journal of Medical Sciences Trust
ISSN: 0019-5359
EISSN: 0019-5359
Vol. 60, No. 12, 2006, pp. 496-505
Bioline Code: ms06074
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 60, No. 12, 2006, pp. 496-505

 en Study of health problems and nutritional status of tea garden population of Assam
Medhi GK, Hazarika NC, Shah B, Mahanta J


BACKGROUND: Assam is the highest tea producer state in the country. There is scarcity of reliable information on health and nutritional status among tea garden population of Assam to enable initiating public health response to their health needs.
AIMS: To describe health problems and nutritional status among tea garden population of Assam.
SETTINGS AND DESIGN: Community-based cross-sectional survey in eight randomly selected tea gardens of Dibrugarh district of Assam.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics of participants were recorded. Health problems and nutritional status were assessed through medical examination, evaluation of medical records, anthropometry and laboratory investigations.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS : Percentage prevalence; Chi-square test was applied wherever applicable.
RESULTS: Out of 4,016 participants, 1,863 were male and 2,153 were female. They were mostly illiterate, and nearly 52.9% (1,197 of 2,264) of adults were manual workers in the garden. Alcohol and oral tobacco use were common. Prevalence of underweight among children was 59.9% (357 of 596), and thinness among adults was 69.9% (1,213 of 1,735). Anemia was widespread. Worm infection (65.4%, 217 of 332); skin problems; respiratory infections, including tuberculosis; filariasis were present in a significant way. Children suffered more in various diseases. Major noncommunicable diseases like hypertension, stroke were emerging in the community and were associated with modifiable risk factors like alcohol and tobacco use.
CONCLUSION: Health status of the population can be ameliorated through better hygienic practices, environmental sanitation, creating health awareness, nutritional intervention and overall improvement of socioeconomic conditions of the population.

Health problems, noncommunicable diseases, tea garden population, undernutrition

© Copyright 2006 Indian Journal of Medical Sciences.
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