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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

D'ORSI, Eleonora; XAVIER, André Junqueira  and  RAMOS, Luiz Roberto. Work, social support and leisure protect the elderly from functional loss: epidoso study. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.4, pp. 685-692. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102011000400007.

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors for functional capacity loss in elderly people. METHODS: Epidoso (Epidemiology of the Elderly) cohort study with elderly people living in São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil). A total of 326 participants in the first interview (1991-1992) who were independent or had mild dependence (one or two activities of daily living) were selected. Those who presented functional loss in the second (1994-1995) or third interviews (1998-1999) were compared to those who did not present it. The incidence of functional loss was calculated according to sociodemographic variables, life habits, cognitive status, morbidity, hospitalization, self-rated health, tooth loss, social support and leisure activities. Crude and adjusted relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were estimated through bivariate and multiple analyses with Poisson regression. The criterion for the inclusion of the variables in the model was p < 0.20 and for exclusion, p > 0.10. RESULTS: The incidence of functional loss was 17.8% (13.6; 21.9). The risk factors in the final model were: age group 70-74 years RR=1.9 (0.9;3.9); age group 75-79 years RR=2.8 (1.4;5.5); age group 80 years or older RR=5.4 (3.0;9.6); score in the mini-mental state examination <24 RR=1.8 (1.1;2.9); asthma RR=2.3 (1.3;3.9); hypertension RR=1.7 (1.1;2.6); and diabetes RR=1.7 (0.9;3.0). The protective factors were: paid work RR=0.3 (0.1;1.0); monthly relationship with friends RR=0.5 (0.3;0.8); watching TV RR=0.5 (0.3;0.9); and handcrafting RR=0.7 (0.4;1.0). CONCLUSIONS: The prevention of functional loss should include adequate control of chronic diseases, like hypertension, asthma and diabetes, as well as cognitive stimulation. Work, leisure and relationships with friends should be valued due to their protective effect.

Keywords : Aged; Activities of Daily Living; Leisure Activities; Social Support; Personal Autonomy; Socioeconomic Factors; Cohort Studies.

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