Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
COELHO FILHO, João Macedo and RAMOS, Luiz Roberto. Epidemiology of ageing in Northeastern Brazil: results of a household survey. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1999, vol.33, n.5, pp. 445-453. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101999000500003.
INTRODUCTION: The population of Brazil is ageing very rapidly, and the care of the elderly is an emerging priority. Up to this date, there is no comprehensive study addressing the profile of the elderly in Northeastern Brazil. The objective is to compile the multidimensional profile of the elderly residents in a metropolitan area of Northeastern Brazil. METHODS: Six hundred sixty-seven elderly (60 years and over), residents in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, constituting a multistage random sample stratified by socioeconomic status. The data was gathered by household survey using a multidimensional functional assessment questionnaire. RESULTS: The majority of the elderly were living in multigenerational households (75,3%). More than half (51,9%) lived without the spouse; 92,4% mentioned at least one disease; 26,4% were considered psychiatric cases; 47,7% showed loss of autonomy; 6,6% were hospitalized, and 61,4% used health services within the twelve and six months preceding the interview, respectively. The prevalence of multigenerational households, loss of autonomy and psychiatric morbidity were higher in the poorest areas. CONCLUSIONS: The elderly population in the city of Fortaleza lives mainly in multigenerational households, with physical and mental morbidity rates particularly high in poor areas, they represent special concern in terms of burden for the social and health services in the next decades.
Keywords : Demographic aging; Aging health; Aged [statistics]; Epidemiology.