Health Profile of Adolescents Living in Slums in Nashik City, India

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Arvo building, Lecture room F211AB, address: Arvo Ylpön katu 34.

Sushama Khopkar

Doctoral defence of M.Phil.(Statistics) Sushama Khopkar

Health Profile of Adolescents Living in Slums in Nashik City, India : A cross-sectional study

The field of science of the dissertation is Epidemiology.

The opponent is MD, PhD Cherian Varghese (WHO Geneve, Switzerland). Professor Suvi Virtanen acts as the custos.

The language of the dissertation defence is English.

Health profile of adolescents living in slums in Nashik city, India

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of the health and well-being of the adolescents living in two randomly selected slums of Nashik City in the state of Maharashtra in Western-central India, and was conducted during 2010-2011. The detailed data on household characteristics, parents, adolescent lifestyle and health were collected through household interviews and measurements, from 276 households and 545 adolescents.

The study combined information from five topics, viz., nutrition and growth, mental well-being, blood pressure and lifestyle, reproductive health, socio-demographic variables, and attempted to achieve/answer the following main research questions and aims :
1.                   How is the growth, as measured by the anthropometric measurements of height and weight of the study subjects and how does it compare to the general Indian and WHO standards? How do the socio-demographic factors such as parental education, income, and diet associate with these measures?
2.                   Prevalence of hypertension in the study population and what roles do stress and mental health play on blood pressure? To check the association of anthropometric measurements and lifestyle factors on mental health.
3.                   At what age do the girls living in slums attain menarche and is this age associated with the nutritional status and different types of oils and fat in the diet?
4.                   Prevalence of reproductive tract infections, observed using the self-reported symptoms suggestive of reproductive tract infections, and how does it associate with the mental health?        
This study has brought out the important areas of health of adolescents living in challenging slum conditions. The research also calls for larger studies focusing on the role of mental status and blood pressure, knowledge, attitude and practice of sexual and reproductive health, and dietary habits so that proper interventions can be planned to bring about behavioural changes in these vulnerable people. The girls and women of India have gathered increasing attention in recent years, however boys and men may also be in a precarious position. This study has brought out that the health and well-being of both boys and girls need to be investigated. The mother’s role is crucial in children’s growth and educating mother about children’s needs might have long-term positive effect. However, the father’s role, even though not very prominent on the surface in Indian culture, in caring for children and their well-being should not be neglected.


The dissertation is published in the publication series of Acta Universitatis Tamperensis; 2331, Tampere University Press, Tampere 2017. The dissertation is also published in the e-series Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis; 1835, Tampere University Press 2017.

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