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Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria

versão impressa ISSN 0047-2085versão On-line ISSN 1982-0208


MENTA, Caroline et al. Prevalence and correlates of generalized anxiety disorder among elderly people in primary health care. J. bras. psiquiatr. [online]. 2020, vol.69, n.2, pp.126-130.  Epub 01-Jun-2020. ISSN 1982-0208.


To examine the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and its associations with sociodemographic and health factors.


A cross-sectional study with a population-based sample of 578 individuals aged 60 years or older from the Family Health Strategy (FHS) program of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Home visit screening and general data collection were made by trained Community Health Workers (CHWs). Diagnoses of psychiatric disorders were made by board-certified psychiatrists using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview plus (MINIplus) in the Hospital São Lucas of the Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS).


GAD was found in 9% of the sample (n = 52; CI 95% = 6.9-11.6). The main results of the multivariate analysis show associations between GAD and retirement (PR: 0.43, CI: 0.25-0.76), history of falls (PR: 2.52, CI: 1.42-4.49), cohabitation with four or more people (PR: 1.80, CI: 1.04-3.13), having more than one hospitalization in the last year (PR: 2.53, CI: 1.17-5.48) and self-perception of health as regular (PR: 2.75, CI: 1.02-7.47). Retirement in the elderly shows 2.32x less risk of GAD, although confounding factors may have overestimated this finding and underestimated the association with female gender (PR: 1.61, CI: 0.83-3.10).


We estimate a high prevalence of GAD in this population. Associations were found between GAD and health self-perceived as regular, cohabitation with four or more people, history of falls and more than one hospitalization in the last year. These epidemiological data from the Family Health Strategy are important to develop further strategies for this age group that could improve the health care practice.

Palavras-chave : Aged; anxiety disorders; generalized anxiety disorder; epidemiology; primary health care; public health.

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