|A doctor at Thống Nhất Hospital in HCM City conducts a home-based health check for an elderly patient. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — The majority of elderly people in HCM City are experiencing high blood pressure along with other non-communicable diseases (NCD), according to a recent health examination conducted by the city health sector.
The examination has revealed that out of the more than 13,700 elderly individuals examined, over 52 per cent were found to have high blood pressure, with over seven per cent being diagnosed for the first time.
It also revealed that 15 per cent of the elderly population had diabetes, while nearly three per cent experienced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma.
The findings have highlighted the importance of regular health check-ups for the elderly population as these conditions can lead to serious complications and even death if left untreated, experts have warned.
The examination also identified 360 individuals with potential signs of cancer, who were referred to specialised hospitals for further diagnosis.
In addition, 420 individuals were found to have varying degrees of depression, while 295 showed signs of anxiety.
Many individuals were also found to have physical weakness and a higher risk of falling.
Free annual health check-ups
Based on the results of the examination, the HCM City health sector plans to offer free annual health check-ups to elderly residents aged 60 and above starting from 2024.
The initiative aims to reduce medical costs for the elderly and improve their quality of life.
The estimated budget for this initiative is around VNĐ150 billion (US$6.16 million) per year, with the goal of detecting and managing non-communicable diseases in a timely manner among the elderly population.
HCM City has over four million individuals aged 60 and above, and most of them suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, according to the Department of Health.
Dr. Nguyễn Văn Vĩnh Châu, the department’s deputy director, emphasised the importance of equal access to quality healthcare for all individuals.
The initiative represents a significant step toward addressing non-communicable diseases and promoting better healthcare for the elderly population, he said.
By providing accessible and comprehensive health services, the city aims to improve the quality of life and reduce medical costs for this vulnerable group, he added.
Non-communicable diseases are a global concern, accounting for 41 million deaths annually, or 74 per cent of all deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
These diseases primarily affect low- and middle-income countries, including Việt Nam.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of non-communicable disease deaths, followed by cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
Modifiable behaviours, such as tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and alcohol consumption, all contribute to the risk of non-communicable diseases, as stated by WHO.
Detection, screening, treatment, and palliative care are key components of the response to non-communicable diseases, according to WHO. — VNS