Clinical aspects of health screening for senior citizens

Ann Acad Med Singap. 1991 Nov;20(6):740-4.


Out of a total of 1,224 subjects aged 55 years and above who attended the Senior Citizens' Health Care Centres for health screening, new medical conditions were picked up for the first time in 472 subjects, giving an overall pick-up rate of 38.6%. This rate increased with age rising from 29.4% among those aged 55-64, to 45.8% among those aged 65-74 and to 51.4% in the 75 years and above. This trend was found to be of statistical significance (p greater than 0.001). The objective of the health screening programme in the Senior Citizens' Health Care Centres is to detect geriatric problems early in order to take adequate steps to prevent disability and dependency states, so that the elderly may continue to live at home. In this paper, we studied the 472 subjects with abnormal medical conditions. The pick-up rates (per 100) of medical conditions were as follows: cataract 13.8, other eye conditions 6.5, deafness 4.5, other ear conditions 2.7, diabetes mellitus 2.5, hypertension 2.2 and osteoarthritis 1.6. The socio demographic profile and the medical conditions of the 472 subjects were also studied, with implications on their quality of life in future. We recommend that physicians specifically screen for diabetes mellitus, hypertension, eye and ear abnormalities in all asymptomatic elderly, during periodic health check ups.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cataract / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Geriatrics*
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors