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Risk behaviors and spectrum of diseases among elderly travelers: a comparison of younger and older adults.
J Travel Med. 2010 Jul-Aug; 17(4):250-5.JT

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Elderly travel to the developing world is increasing. Little information is available regarding risk behaviors and health during and after travel in this population.

METHODS

We compared the risk factors and occurrence of travel-related diseases in two populations of Israelis, travelers aged 60 years and older and travelers in the age group of 20 to 30 years. Only people traveling for less than a month were included. Pre-travel, each person received routine counseling regarding travel-associated health risks, was immunized, and given anti-malarial prescriptions as needed. Travelers were surveyed by telephone 6 to 12 months following travel about underlying medical conditions, current medications, and travel history. Risk and preventive behaviors, compliance with anti-malarial prophylaxis, and history of illness during and after travel were assessed.

RESULTS

Of patients who visited the clinic from January to June 2008, 191/208 (91%) travelers aged 60 and older and 203/291 (69%) travelers aged 20 to 30 years were contacted by phone and recruited. Fewer elderly travelers drank open drinks, compared to young travelers (8% vs 35%, p < 0.01), and fewer purchased street food compared to young travelers (16.2% vs 37.9%, p < 0.01). More elderly travelers were fully compliant with their anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis regimen (60.7% vs 33.8%, p < 0.01). More elderly travelers took organized tours (61% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Young travelers more often backpacked (50.7% vs 10.4%, p < 0.001). Illness, most commonly diarrhea, was reported by 18.8% of elderly travelers compared to 34.0% of the young travelers (p = 0.001). In a logistic regression model only travel to East Asia (OR 4.66) (95%CI 1.93-11.22) and traveling under basic conditions (OR 1.94) (95% CI 1.42-3.29) remained significantly associated with illness, irrespective of age.

CONCLUSIONS

Because elderly travelers tend to comply with health-related recommendations better and use less risky travel modes, their risk for illness during travel was lower. Traveling to East Asia and travel mode are associated with illness during travel, irrespective of age.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Traveler's Clinic and Infectious Diseases Unit, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel. danny.alon@clalit.org.ilNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20636598

Citation

Alon, Danny, et al. "Risk Behaviors and Spectrum of Diseases Among Elderly Travelers: a Comparison of Younger and Older Adults." Journal of Travel Medicine, vol. 17, no. 4, 2010, pp. 250-5.
Alon D, Shitrit P, Chowers M. Risk behaviors and spectrum of diseases among elderly travelers: a comparison of younger and older adults. J Travel Med. 2010;17(4):250-5.
Alon, D., Shitrit, P., & Chowers, M. (2010). Risk behaviors and spectrum of diseases among elderly travelers: a comparison of younger and older adults. Journal of Travel Medicine, 17(4), 250-5. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2010.00425.x
Alon D, Shitrit P, Chowers M. Risk Behaviors and Spectrum of Diseases Among Elderly Travelers: a Comparison of Younger and Older Adults. J Travel Med. 2010 Jul-Aug;17(4):250-5. PubMed PMID: 20636598.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Risk behaviors and spectrum of diseases among elderly travelers: a comparison of younger and older adults. AU - Alon,Danny, AU - Shitrit,Pnina, AU - Chowers,Michal, PY - 2010/7/20/entrez PY - 2010/7/20/pubmed PY - 2010/10/30/medline SP - 250 EP - 5 JF - Journal of travel medicine JO - J Travel Med VL - 17 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Elderly travel to the developing world is increasing. Little information is available regarding risk behaviors and health during and after travel in this population. METHODS: We compared the risk factors and occurrence of travel-related diseases in two populations of Israelis, travelers aged 60 years and older and travelers in the age group of 20 to 30 years. Only people traveling for less than a month were included. Pre-travel, each person received routine counseling regarding travel-associated health risks, was immunized, and given anti-malarial prescriptions as needed. Travelers were surveyed by telephone 6 to 12 months following travel about underlying medical conditions, current medications, and travel history. Risk and preventive behaviors, compliance with anti-malarial prophylaxis, and history of illness during and after travel were assessed. RESULTS: Of patients who visited the clinic from January to June 2008, 191/208 (91%) travelers aged 60 and older and 203/291 (69%) travelers aged 20 to 30 years were contacted by phone and recruited. Fewer elderly travelers drank open drinks, compared to young travelers (8% vs 35%, p < 0.01), and fewer purchased street food compared to young travelers (16.2% vs 37.9%, p < 0.01). More elderly travelers were fully compliant with their anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis regimen (60.7% vs 33.8%, p < 0.01). More elderly travelers took organized tours (61% vs 2%, p < 0.001). Young travelers more often backpacked (50.7% vs 10.4%, p < 0.001). Illness, most commonly diarrhea, was reported by 18.8% of elderly travelers compared to 34.0% of the young travelers (p = 0.001). In a logistic regression model only travel to East Asia (OR 4.66) (95%CI 1.93-11.22) and traveling under basic conditions (OR 1.94) (95% CI 1.42-3.29) remained significantly associated with illness, irrespective of age. CONCLUSIONS: Because elderly travelers tend to comply with health-related recommendations better and use less risky travel modes, their risk for illness during travel was lower. Traveling to East Asia and travel mode are associated with illness during travel, irrespective of age. SN - 1708-8305 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20636598/Risk_behaviors_and_spectrum_of_diseases_among_elderly_travelers:_a_comparison_of_younger_and_older_adults_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article-lookup/doi/10.1111/j.1708-8305.2010.00425.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -