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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

On-line version ISSN 1981-2256


ARAUJO, Patrícia Luiz de  and  GALATO, Dayani. Frailty risk and drug use among elderly in southern Santa Catarina state, Brazil. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.1, pp.119-126. ISSN 1981-2256.

OBJECTIVE: To examine frail risk (repeated hospital admissions) and the profile of drug use among elderly attending the Integrated Health Service of the University of Southern Santa Catarina State, in the city of Tubarão. METHODS: When the information was collected by the community service agents in 2009, there were 772 elderly registered, and 135 were included in the research sample. The geographical distribution of residences for the elderly was taken into account for the selection of the participants in the survey. Data was collected in household interviews. Descriptive statistics was used to present the results. The Pearson chi-square test (p <0.05) was used to test associated factors. RESULTS: In total, 135 elderly were interviewed, 65.9% of whom had up to three concomitant health problems and 21.5% received multiple medications. Cardiovascular system and nervous system medications were the most commonly used. Of the respondents, 14.3% had used antibiotics in the last month and 17.0% were using medications considered potentially inappropriate. Self-medication was reported by 29.2% of the elderly and 64.4% reported use of medicinal plants. With regard to frailty risk, 88.1% were classified as low. The following were risk factors associated with frailty: polymedication (p <0.001), having more than three concomitant health problems (p <0.001), and having used antibiotics in the last month (p= 0.015). CONCLUSIONS: The elderly who live at their own home are at low risk for frailty. Frailty risk is associated with the presence of multiple health problems, polymedication and recent use of antibiotics.

Keywords : Elderly; Elderly health care; Drug use; Medication.

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