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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790XOn-line version ISSN 1980-5497

Rev. bras. epidemiol. vol.21  São Paulo  2018  Epub Aug 02, 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1980-549720180004 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Sociodemographic, behavioral, and health factors associated with positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly residents in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Rodrigo de Rosso KrugI  II 

Ione Jayce Ceola SchneiderIII 

Maruí Weber Corseuil GiehlIV 

Danielle Ledur AntesV 

Susana Cararo ConfortinV 

Giovana Zarpellon MazoVI 

André Junqueira XavierV 

Eleonora d’OrsiV 

IPostgraduate Program in Medical Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina - Florianópolis (SC), Brazil.

IIPostgraduate Program in Comprehensive Healthcare , Universidade de Cruz Alta - Cruz Alta (RS), Brazil.

IIIDepartment of Physiotherapy, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina - Araranguá (SC), Brazil.

IVUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina - Florianópolis (SC), Brazil.

VPostgraduate Program in Collective Health, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina - Florianópolis (SC), Brazil.

VIPostgraduate Program in Human Movement Sciences, Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina - Florianópolis (SC), Brazil.

ABSTRACT:

The objective of this study was to identify the factors associated with positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly (80+) individuals. This cross-sectional study was conducted in the city of Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, and included 239 elderly participants from the EpiFloripa Ageing Project. We used collection instruments to verify sociodemographic and economic data, self-reported health status, falls, and lifestyle. Then, we identified factors associated with positive self-perceived health using a Poisson regression adjusted for sex. We found that a positive self-reported health status was more prevalent among the long-lived elderly who were not depressed (PR = 0.49), and among those who consumed alcohol (PR = 1.99). Understanding which variables may interfere in the self-perceived health of the long-lived elderly can result in better health options for this population, mainly, new methods to prevent depression. Additionally, this information can help reduce costs associated with hospitalizations, medications and health treatments, all of which are very common among the long-lived elderly.

Keywords: Elderly people aged 80 and older; Self-assessment; Health; Comorbidity; Life style; Treatment

INTRODUCTION

The age group of people 80 years old or older (long-lived elderly people) is increasing the most in the world. Projections from the World Health Organization1 show that this population will surpass 379 million in 2050. In Brazil, this group is also growing. In 2010, there were around 3 million (1.1% of the total Brazilian population), with projections reaching 14 million in 2040, corresponding to an increase of 466.6%. It is estimated that approximately 2.6% of these elderly Brazilians live in Santa Catarina and about 0.3% of them live in the capital city of Florianópolis2.

Long-lived elderly people have distinct characteristics, such as a higher prevalence of disabilities and diseases, mainly cardiovascular diseases, stroke, arthritis, dementia and depression2. These characteristics give rise to concerns for the economy, health and social welfare of society, due to the high cost of treating and preventing the diseases common to this age group. Challenges arise with regard to the implementation of public policies and improvements in health promotion. Furthermore, there is a need for greater opportunities for these people, so that they can maximize their participation within society1,2.

In addition, advancing age may worsen self-perceived health1. Pinquart3 explains that this perception of poorer health among the long-lived elderly, compared to younger people, is due to the increase in the number and severity of health problems among the elderly. Moschny et al.4, when accompanying 1,937 elderly Germans (aged between 72 and 93 years old) for 7 years, showed that people aged 80 years old and over perceived their health as worse in comparison to younger people.

Positive self-perceived health is a good indicator of one’s own health, as it predicts one’s survival5. It is related to good physical, cognitive and emotional health, as well as to a sense of well-being and satisfaction with life6,7.

Self-perceived health is related to some important components of elderly health, such as socioeconomic aspects8, physical activity9, physical capacity5,6,7,8,9, morbidities5,6,7,8,9,10 and mortality9,11,12. However, none of these aspects are derived from studies with long-lived elderly people, thus highlighting the need for this age group to be investigated3. Furthermore, most studies on this subject address negative self-perception of health6.

This research is justified by the differentiated population being investigated (long-lived elderly), because they perceived their health to be worse than other age groups, and also because understanding the issues involved in the positive self-perceived health of the elderly can assist in the implementation of better health policies and measures for this population. as well as be an important indicator for the general health surveillance of the elderly13. The objective of this study was to verify the factors associated with the positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina.

METHODS

TYPE OF STUDY

A cross-sectional, population-based household survey conducted in the city of Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, with a population of elderly people of both sexes, aged 80 years old and over.

POPULATION AND SAMPLE

The EpiFloripa Idoso14 study occurred in 2009 and 2010, in Florianópolis, and aimed to study the health conditions of the elderly population (60 years and older) of both sexes, living in the urban area of the municipality.

In order to calculate the sample size, the following criteria were considered: the expected prevalence (50%), an error of 4 percentage points, a 95% confidence interval (95%CI), a design for samples by clusters (= 2), an additional 20% to account for predicted losses, and 15% for associated studies. Furthermore, the size of the elderly population of 60 years or older was considered. Finally, a minimum value of 1,599 interviews was reached. Due to the availability of funding, the sample was expanded to include 1,911 elderly people.

The sample selection process was carried out using two-stage clusters, with the first stage including 420 census tracts (census units of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics - Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE) in Florianópolis. These sectors consist of 300 to 350 households each, and the households were the units of the second stage. It was estimated that 20 interviews were carried out per census tract and, due to the availability of financial resources, the number of elderly people interviewed per sector increased to 23, in order to increase the variability of the sample. The census tracts were stratified in ascending order according to the average monthly income of the head of the family (R $ 314.76 to R $ 5,057.77) and were later randomly selected, along with the households. Thus, 1,911 eligible elderly people were found. The study’s response rate was 89.1%, with a final sample of 1,702 elderly people interviewed. Interviews were considered to be incomplete after four attempts of contacting the interviewee or after the interviewee chose not to respond to the questionnaire.

The study sample was representative of the population aged 60 years old or over residing in Florianópolis. The age group of 80 years old or over in the study (239/1,705 elderly people or 14% of the sample) corresponded to the same percentage of elderly individuals that were 80 years old or over in the target population identified by the 2010 IBGE Census (6.784/48.423 or 14% of the target population).

INSTRUMENTS AND DATA COLLECTION

Data collection was performed using a standardized and pre-tested instrument applied in the form of face-to-face interviews using a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), which is a small sized computer with a large computational capacity. It served as an agenda and as an elementary office computer system, and it was able to connect to a personal computer and a wireless computer network for internet access.

Female interviewers who had a high school diploma and who were properly trained carried out the interviews. The decision to have only female interviewers was made during the methodological planning of the study. It was considered that women tend to be better received by the interviewees. Furthermore, few questions used in the study could have suffered information bias because the interviewers were women.

Every week, data consistency and quality control was verified by applying a reduced form of the questionnaire over the phone in approximately 10% of the randomly selected interviewees.

The self-perceived health variable was verified by means of the question “In general, would you say that your health is: very good, good, fair, bad or very bad?15. These responses were categorized as positive (“very good” and “good”) and negative (“fair”, “bad” and “very bad”).

The covariates studied were:

  1. sociodemographic variables: age (in years); sex (male, female); marital status (single, married/together, separated/divorced, widower); housing (alone, accompanied); caregiver (no, yes); schooling (no formal education, incomplete elementary education, elementary education, high school education, higher education); skin color (white, black/black with light skin/yellow); currently works (no, yes), which was verified by the question “Do you currently have any paid work?”; and income in minimum wages (less than 1, 1 to 3, 4 to 6, > 6, with the minimum wage in 2009 being R$ 465.00, and in 2010, R$ 510.00);

  2. health variables: cognitive decline as evaluated by the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) validated in Brazil by Bertolucci et al.16 - MMSE is the most often used cognitive screening scale in the world, and it ranges from 0 to 30 points; the elderly individual’s classification was given based on their level of schooling, where elderly people that probably did not have a cognitive deficit received values greater or equal to 19/20 points (elderly individuals with no formal schooling) and greater or equal to 23/24 points (elderly individuals with a formal education); and elderly people with a probable cognitive deficit had lower values ​​than those mentioned17; spinal disease (no, yes); arthritis and/or rheumatism (no, yes); cancer (no, yes); diabetes (no, yes); bronchitis and/or asthma (no, yes); systemic arterial hypertension (no, yes); cardiovascular diseases (no, yes); depression (no, yes); stroke (no, yes); stomach ulcer (no, yes); urinary incontinence (no, yes); and use of medications (no, yes);

  3. behavioral variables: tobacco use (no, smoked and stopped, currently smokes); and alcohol use (no, moderate/high), which was evaluated by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)18, through the first three questions of the instrument that refer to the quantity and frequency of regular or occasional alcohol use19. This instrument is currently one of the most widely used measures in the world to identify groups at risk, and to track the misuse of alcohol in clinical samples and in the general population20. Elderly people who did not consume alcohol were considered to not be drinking alcohol; moderate use was considered to be the consumption of one dose or less at any frequency; and high alcohol consumption was considered to be an intake of five doses or more, or two or more doses taken normally when drinking. Due to the small size of the sample, the categories were grouped into alcohol consumption (no, yes). Thus, the interpretation does not refer to the identification of risk group, but to alcohol consumption. Physical activity level was also evaluated by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) with regard to leisure, in the long form and in a normal week21 (physically inactive = performed less than 150 minutes per week of physical activity, and physically active = performed at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity); and the participation in social groups (no, yes);

  4. falls in the last year (no, yes).

DATA ANALYSIS

Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the characteristics of the population. Categorical data were described by relative frequency and their respective 95%CI. The normality of the continuous data (age) was tested.

The prevalence of positive self-perception of health and its respective 95%CI were calculated. For the identification of factors associated with positive self-perceived health, a brute analysis was used and adjusted using a Poisson regression. In the adjusted analysis, the variables that showed an association with the outcome (p ≤ 0.05) were inserted into the model. The final model was adjusted by sex. For all of the analyzes, the statistical program STATA SE 11.0 was used (StataCorp, 2009. Stata Statistical Software: Release 11. College Station, TX, StataCorp LP.).

ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee on Human Research of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, case number 352/2008. All participants signed an informed consent form. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

RESULTS

The sample of this study totaled 239 long-lived elderly individuals with a mean age of 85.06 ± 4.68 years old. The prevalence of positive self-perceived health was 41.4% (95%CI 34.6-48.5) (Table 1).

Table 1: Association between sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, level of physical activity during leisure times, and the falls of long-lived elderly people from the EpiFloripa Idoso Project, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, 2014. 

Variables n = 239
n % (95%CI)
Self-perceived health
Positive 100 41.4 (34.6 - 48.5)
Negative 139 58.6 (51.5 - 65.4)
Sociodemographics
Sex
Feminine 159 66.0 (58.5 - 72.7)
Masculine 80 34.0 (27.3 - 41.4)
Marital status
Married/together 91 35.7 (28.7 - 43.4)
Single 9 3.3 (1.6 - 6.6)
Divorced/separated 9 3.9 (2.0 - 7.5)
Widowed 130 57.1 (49.5 - 64.3)
Housing
Alone 45 20.8 (15.2 - 27.6)
Accompanied 194 79.2 (72.3 - 84.7)
Care-giver
No 167 71.1 (60.8 - 81.3)
Yes 72 28.9 (18.7 - 39.17)
Schooling
Illiterate 44 16.6 (11.0 - 24.2)
Incomplete elementary school 104 41.8 (32.8 - 51.4)
Elementary school 28 14.7 (8.3 - 24.7)
High school 43 19.4 (12.7 - 28.4)
Higher education 20 7.5 (3.9 - 13.6)
Skin color
White 211 87.8 (80.6 - 92.5)
Black/black with light skin/yellow 28 12.2 (7.5 - 19.3)
Work
No work 232 97.3 (94.0 - 98.8)
Works 7 2.7 (1.2 - 6.0)
Income (minimum wages)
< 1 128 49.7 (39.8 - 59.6)
1 to 3 74 31.8 (26.6 - 37.4)
4 to 6 13 6.0 (3.3 - 10.6)
> 6 24 12.4 (6.9 - 21.4)
Health
Cognitive deficit
No deficit 124 56.5 (46.8 - 66.2)
Probable deficit 112 43.5 (33.8 - 53.2)
Spine disease
No 132 52.1 (44.5 - 59.7)
Yes 107 47.9 (40.3 - 55.5)
Arthritis/rheumatism
No 147 65.9 (57.0 - 74.8)
Yes 92 34.1 (25.2 - 43.0)
Diabetes
No 188 76.1 (68.4 - 82.3)
Yes 5 23.9 (17.6 - 31.5)
Bronchitis/asthma
No 199 83.5 (77.1 - 90.0)
Yes 40 16.4 (10.0 - 22.9)
Systemic arterial hypertension
No 89 37.1 (28.1 - 47.1)
Yes 150 62.9 (52.9 - 71.8)
Cardiovascular diseases
No 15 60.7 (52.0 - 68.8)
Yes 88 39.2 (31.2 - 48.0)
Depression
No 180 75.9 (70.6 - 80.5)
Yes 59 24.1 (19.4 - 29.4)
Stroke
No 206 87.7 (82.5 - 92.9)
Yes 33 12.3 (7.1 - 17.5)
Stomach ulcer
No 212 89.0 (84.4 - 93.6)
Yes 27 11.0 (6.3 - 15.6)
Urinary incontinence
No 132 62.7 (54.3 - 71.2)
Yes 107 37.2 (28.8 - 45.7)
Medication usage
No 13 5.8 (3.1 - 10.6)
Yes 226 94.2 (89.4 - 96.8)
Behavioral
Tobacco use
No 156 64.5 (57.4 - 70.9)
Smoke and stopped 75 32.3 (26.3 - 39.0)
Currently smoked 8 3.2 (1.5 - 6.5)
Alcohol use
No 195 82.3 (76.3 - 87.0)
Yes 44 17.7 (13.0 - 23.7)
Participation in social groups
No 75 33.4 (25.2 - 42.6)
Yes 164 66.6 (57.3 - 74.8)
Level of physical activity during leisure times (minutes per week)
< 150 200 83.1 (76.5 - 88.1)
≥ 150 39 16.9 (11.9 - 23.5)
Others
Falls in the past year
No 178 75.0 (68.8 - 80.2)
Yes 61 25.0 (19.7 - 31.1)

Value used to convert the variable of gross family income: EpiFloripa11 R$ 465; 95%CI: confidence interval of 95%.

The majority of the long-lived elderly individuals were female, widowed, lived with someone else, had a low educational level (were illiterate or had not completed an elementary education), were white, had no paid and/or voluntary work, and received less than three monthly minimum wages. As for health conditions, most of the individuals had no disease other than systemic arterial hypertension and took at least one medication per day. Regarding lifestyle habits, most of them never smoked and did not drink alcohol; they participated in social groups for elderly people, and were physically inactive during leisure times. Regarding falls, the majority did not have falls during the previous year (Table 1).

In Table 2, it was verified in the brute analysis that positive self-perceived health was associated with depression, medication use, no alcohol use, and being physically active during leisure times. However, after the adjusted analysis it was confirmed that positive self-perception of health remained associated with depression, with a 51% lower prevalence in those with a diagnosis of the disease (PR = 0.49, 95%CI 0.28-0.85), and with alcohol consumption, where the prevalence of positive self-perceived health was practically double that of those who did not consume alcohol (PR = 1.99, 95%CI 1.54-2.56).

Table 2: Adjusted analyzes of the factors associated with positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly people from the EpiFloripa Idoso Project. Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, 2014. 

Variables Positive self-perceived health % (95%CI) Brute analysis Adjusted analysis
PR (95%CI) p-value PR (95%CI) p-value
Sociodemographic
Age - 1.01 (0.97 - 1.05) 0.657 -
Sex
Feminine 38.9 (30.4 - 48.1) 1 0.341 1 0.616
Masculine 46.2 (34.5 - 58.3) 1.19 (0.83 - 1.70) 0.91 (0.63 - 1.31)
Marital status
Married/together 47.3 (35.4 - 59.6) 1 0.146 -
Single 50.8 (19.7 - 81.3) 1.07 (0.53 - 2.17)
Divorced/separated 83.0 (47.8 - 96.3) 1.75 (1.18 - 2.61)
Widowed 34.3 (24.4 - 45.7) 0.72 (0.47 - 1.12)
Housing
Alone 41.8 (27.7 - 57.5) 1 0.955 -
Accompanied 41.3 (32.6 - 50.5) 0.99 (0.61 - 1.59)
Care-giver
No 45.5 (0.37 - 0.54) 1 0.127
Yes 31.2 (0.55 - 0.83) 0.68 (0.42 - 1.12)
Schooling
Illiterate 24.6 (13.3 - 41.0) 1 0.068 -
Incomplete elementary school 38.2 (28.4 - 48.6) 1.55 (0.82 - 2.95)
Elementary school 42.6 (29.0 - 57.5) 1.73 (0.90 - 3.34)
High school 57.5 (28.9 - 81.9) 2.34 (1.07 - 5.09)
Higher education 51.9 (28.4 - 74.6) 2.11 (1.04 - 4.27)
Skin color
White 43.6 (36.8 - 50.7) 1 0.171 -
Black/black with light skin/yello 25.2 (10.5 - 49.0) 0.58 (0.26 - 1.27)
Work
No work 41.3 (34.5 - 48.5) 1 0.964 -
Works 42.3 (12.3 - 79.2) 1.02 (0.39 - 2.66)
Variables Positive self-perceived health % (95%CI) Brute analysis Adjusted analysis
PR (95%CI) p-value PR (95%CI) p-value
Income (minimum wages)
< 1 37.6 (29.2 - 46.9) 1 0.219 -
1 to 3 39.7 (25.6 - 55.7) 1.06 (0.68 - 1.84)
4 to 6 23.4 (7.6 - 53.3) 0.62 (0.22 - 1.75)
> 6 69.4 (49.8 - 83.8) 1.85 (1.29 - 2.64)
Health
Cognitive deficit
No deficit 44.4 (36.3 - 52.6) 1 0.455
Probable deficit 38.7 (26.5 - 50.9) 0.87 (0.60 - 1.26)
Spine disease
No 43.7 (33.1 - 54.3) 1 0.495 -
Yes 38.8 (29.5 - 48.2) 0.89 (0.63 - 1.25)
Arthritis/rheumatism
No 45.6 (35.3 - 55.8) 1 0.187 -
Yes 33.3 (20.7 - 45.8) 0.73 (0.46 - 1.17)
Cancer
No 39.8 (31.3 - 48.2) 1 0.182 -
Yes 52.8 (35.8 - 69.8) 1.33 (0.87 - 2.02)
Diabetes
No 45.9 (37.4 - 54.7) 1 0.058 -
Yes 26.8 (15.3 - 42.6) 0.58 (0.33 - 1.02)
Bronchitis/asthma
No 40.7 (33.3 - 48.2) 1 0.656 -
Yes 44.7 (27.5 - 62.0) 1.10 (0.72 - 1.67)
Systemic arterial hypertension
No 44.1 (31.7 - 57.3) 1 0.583 -
Yes 39.8 (31.8 - 48.3) 0.90 (0.62 - 1.31)
Cardiovascular diseases
No 46.8 (38.6 - 55.1) 1 0.079 -
Yes 33.0 (22.8 - 45.2) 0.71 (0.48 - 1.04)
Depression
No 47.9 (39.2 - 56.7) 1 0.004* 1 0.013*
Yes 20.8 (12.0 - 33.5) 0.43 (0.25 - 0.76) 0.49 (0.28 - 0.85)
Variables Positive self-perceived health % (95%CI) Brute analysis Adjusted analysis
PR (95%CI) p-value PR (95%CI) p-value
Stroke
No 43.6 (36.1 - 51.1) 1 0.132 -
Yes 25.4 (7.8 - 43.1) 0.58 (0.29 - 1.18)
Stomach ulcer
No 41.8 (34.3 - 49.2) 1 0.778 -
Yes 38.1 (14.4 - 61.8) 0.91 (0.47 - 1.75)
Urinary incontinence
No 41.4 (33.3 - 49.5) 1 0.994 -
Yes 41.3 (29.1 - 53.6) 1.00 (0.71 - 1.41)
Medication usage
No 69.6 (37.0 - 90.0) 1 0.024* 1 0.058
Yes 39.6 (32.1 - 47.6) 0.57 (0.35 - 0.93) 0.62 (0.37 - 1.02)
Behavioral
Tobacco use
No 41.2 (30.8 - 52.4) 1 0.639 -
Smoke and stopped 40.0 (29.0 - 52.2) 0.97 (0.61 - 1.53)
Currently smoked 58.1 (21.6 - 87.4) 1.41 (0.66 - 2.98)
Alcohol use
No 34.5 (28.4 - 41.1) 1 > 0.001* 1 > 0,001*
Yes 73.2 (56.0 - 85.5) 2.21 (1.64 - 2.25) 1.99 (1.54 - 2.56)
Participation in social groups
No 47.7 (33.2 - 62.6) 1 0.265 -
Yes 38.2 (30.5 - 46.5) 0.80 (0.54 - 1.19)
Level of physical activity during leisure times (minutes per week)
< 150 38.1 (31.1 - 45.7) 1 0.010* 1 0.150
≥ 150 57.3 (42.1 - 71.3) 1.50 (1.11 - 2.05) 1.22 (0.93 - 1.60)
Others
Falls
No 39.9 (33.3 - 47.0) 1 0.454 -
Yes 45.8 (31.0 - 61.3) 1.15 (0.80 - 1.65)

PR: prevalence ratio; 95%CI: confidence interval of 95%; *significance level less than 5%. Final model adjusted by sex.

DISCUSSION

In the present study, the prevalence of positive self-perceived health was 41.8%. In addition, it was found that positive self-perceived health was less prevalent in elderly people with no depressive symptoms, and was more prevalent in those who consumed alcohol.

It was observed that depression was inversely associated with positive self-perceived health, corroborating the findings of Arnadottir et al.9, confirming the relationship between worse health perception and depressive symptoms, which has been well described in previous studies22,23,24. Among the elderly, depression is a very common mental health problem22, which, if left untreated, increases the risk of morbidity and mortality, not to mention is associated with a social and economic burden23.

Positive self-perceived health was also associated with alcohol consumption among the long-lived elderly. Studies25,26,27,28,29 have also observed an association between higher alcohol consumption and positive health perception, after adjustment for sociodemographic and lifestyle variables, corroborating the findings of this investigation. Other research showed that the prevalence of negative self-perceived health was higher among those who had stopped drinking, followed by individuals who did not drink27.

The increase in age is an important determinant of the amount of alcohol being consumed. Older people consume less alcohol when compared to younger people, but they consume it more frequently29. Moderate drinking is associated with some good health conditions,27,28,29 such as better cognition and lower risk of dementia30, better functional performance30, less depressive symptoms27, some protection against cardiovascular diseases31 and asthma32, lower mortality29,31 and better quality of life28,33, which can explain the positive self-perceived health of these elderly people. This association can also be explained by the higher probability of a social bond among alcohol-consuming elderly individuals28.

However, these results may be questioned by some biases. One bias may be economic condition, in which people with a higher income consume more alcohol and can access health services more frequently, thereby reducing the impact of alcohol on their health34. Another point of discussion is that older people who consume alcohol do so because they are healthier, and this is the most likely explanation for the association found between alcohol and positive self-perceived health, in addition to social ties. It is also important to mention that there is a difference in the evaluation of alcohol consumption among the studies, since some studies evaluate low, moderate and high consumption26, some evaluate only moderate use29,30, some evaluate consumption doses26,33, and lastly, some evaluate frequency of consumption in days26,33, months26 or years27, compared to individuals who have never consumed and/or individuals who stopped consuming alcohol.

Nevertheless, further investigations are necessary regarding the relationship between health perception and alcohol consumption in the long-lived elderly. The authors of this study do not recommend that elderly people consume alcohol in order to have a positive self-perception of their health, considering that the public health approach in the UK promotes responsible drinking, which seeks to balance the potential benefits of drinking with possible harms34. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health’s recommends no alcohol consumption for improved health and the prevention of chronic diseases34.

It is important to highlight that the present study presents some limitations, among them, the study’s cross-sectional design, which does not permit the inference of cause and effect relationships between the independent variables and the outcome. Additionally, there was a survival bias, since only elderly people that are alive can be interviewed, something which is inherent to any cross-sectional study. The most serious, the most compromised, and the sickest patients died or were admitted to long-term care facilities for the elderly, and therefore were not interviewed.

A positive aspect of this study was the fact that research with long-lived elderly people is still rarely studied in Brazil, due to the difficulty of contacting this group, which further illustrates the importance of researching this specific population. Also, the fact that the research’s outcome is that of positive self-perceived health as opposed to negative self-perceived health differs from most studies.

Longitudinal investigations may contribute to a better understanding of the associations found. In this regard, the EpiFloripa Idoso project continued the study and carried out a new wave of collections in the years 2013 and 2014.

CONCLUSION

It was concluded that the factors associated with positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, were depression and alcohol consumption. Thus, the results show that understanding the variables that interfere with the positive self-perceived health of long-lived elderly can help to improve health measures, especially ones that help to avoid depression in this population. This knowledge, if properly applied, can help reduce costs associated with hospitalizations, medications and health treatments, which are very common in this older population. Furthermore, it serves as an important indicator for the general health surveillance of the elderly who live in this municipality.

REFERENCES

1. Organização Mundial de Saúde. Envelhecimento ativo: uma política de saúde. Brasília: Organização Pan-Americana da Saúde; 2005. [ Links ]

2. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Síntese de indicadores sociais - Uma análise das condições de vida da população brasileira [Internet]. Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística; 2010. Disponível em: https://ww2.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2015/default_sintese.shtm (Acessado em 26 de junho de 2011). [ Links ]

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Financial support: This paper is originally from the EpiFloripa Project 2009/2010, an epidemiological study of health conditions of elderly people in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, and was funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq), case number 569834/2008-2. It was developed within the Postgraduate Program in Collective Health at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.

Received: March 21, 2016; Revised: August 29, 2016; Accepted: December 05, 2016

Corresponding author: Rodrigo de Rosso Krug. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Médicas, Centro de Ciências da Saúde. Rua Delfino Conti, s/n, bloco A, sala 126, Campus Universitário, Trindade, CEP: 88040-410, Florianópolis, SC, Brasil. E-mail: rodkrug@bol.com.br

Conflict of interests: nothing to declare

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