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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Health, well-being and aging: the SABE study in São Paulo, Brazil

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Author(s):
Maria Lúcia Lebrão ; Rui Laurenti
Total Authors: 2
Document type: Journal article
Source: Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia; v. 8, n. 2, p. 127-141, Jun. 2005.
Abstract

The SABE project (health, well-being and aging) was coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization and aimed to collect information about the living conditions of the elderly population (aged 60 and older) in urban metropolitan areas in seven Latin American countries, including the city of São Paulo, and to investigate cohort, socioeconomic and gender differences in relation to health status, as well as use and access to heath care. A questionnaire and a standardized sampling process were used to interview 2,143 people. The results show that most of the elderly are women, with a ratio of 142 women to 100 men. 8.7% were immigrants, and 62.6% lived for five or more years in the rural area until the age of fifteen. 13.2% of the elderly lived alone, a percentage that was greater for women and as age increased. For those aged 80 and over, the percentage of living alone was found to be 21.5%; among very old women, that percentage was 17.1%. The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used to assess cognitive mental functioning. The results show that 6.9% of the elderly suffered mental impairment. Besides, the older they were, the greater the mental impairment was. However, when the MMSE was associated with the Pfeffer questionnaire, the prevalence dropped to 3.4%. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) revealed that 18.1% of the elderly suffered from depression and only a small number of them took antidepressants. Their health self assessment data shows that 53.8% of the interviewees considered their health to be regular or poor, and this assessment differs when variables such as age, sex, years of education, and disability are considered. Among the most frequent illnesses, we found: hypertension (53.3%) - 80.6% took some kind of medicine; arthritis/rheumatism (31.7%) - 62.6 had some kind of disability, and diabetes (17.9%). The prevalence of elderly falls was 28.6%. The great majority of the elderly did not have any difficulties in their activities of daily living (ADL) (80,7%). Those who had problems usually had difficulties in performing one or two ADLs. Data on their living arrangements and help received according to family support was also presented, and we found that little support was given to ADLs. Income was low - 2.1 minimum wages. We conclude that health status and the inefficiency of the social security system are worrying issues in this elderly population, as a significant number of them are not financially independent and continue to work. (AU)