Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2018 , Vol 21, Issue 2
Neşe ÖLMEZ SARIKAYA1, Feray KOÇ2, Veysi Emre ERDEN2
1İzmir Atatürk Training and Research Hospital, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, İzmir, Turkey
2İzmir Atatürk Training and Research Hospital, Ophtalmology Department, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.31086/tjgeri.2018240424 Introduction: Aging of the population leads to an increasing number of older people with a severe disability, in need of long-term care, which is a major public health problem. Herein, we attempted to find out the main pathologies that cause severe disability, including neuromusculoskeletal disability, in elderly and young adults.

Materials and Method: In this descriptive observational study, we retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 20,790 subjects admitted to the Health Council of the İzmir Atatürk Training and Research Hospital over the last two years. Subjects identified as severely disabled and >18 years old were in§cluded. Age- (19?64 or 65+ years) and gender-specific causes of severe disability were identified.

Results: Overall, 1,117 (631 female, 486 male) subjects were severely disabled. Mean age was 65.9±18.1 years; 60% were >65 years old. Main pathologies leading to severe disability were nervous system (61%), eye (11%), mental and behavioral (9.3%), musculoskeletal (8.4%), neoplasms (2.8%), respiratory (2.7%) and other diseases. Distribution of the pathologies were statistically different between age subgroups (p<0.001), but not between gender subgroups (p>0.05). Dementia and stroke were the most frequent neurological conditions. Knee osteoarthritis was the leading musculoskeletal cause of severe disability.

Conclusion: This study may provide a baseline indication of pathologies commonly causing severe disability. Most severely disabled subjects were female and of older age. Neurological diseases were the most frequent causes of severe disability. Preventive and rehabilitative health service planning should be undertaken to decrease the disability caused by these conditions. Keywords : Disability; Aged; Adult; Turkey