The prevalence of morbidity and symptoms among the elderly: a comparative study between rural and urban areas

Eveline Fronza da Silva Vera Maria Vieira Paniz Gabriela Laste Iraci Lucena da Silva Torres About the authors

A cross-sectional study was conducted with the elderly population in rural and urban areas characterized by the prevalence of morbidity and symptoms, and 229 elderly people were interviewed. The average age was 72.3, of which 57.2% lived in the rural zone and 56.3% were female. The morbidities most reported were insomnia (37.7%), anxiety (32.1%), depression (26.7%), and in the rural zone it was diabetes (13.3%). In this zone, Alzheimer´s disease was more prevalent among the elderly who handled pesticides (21.7%). The most prevalent symptoms among urban zone residents were: cough/runny nose and sight alterations (41.2%), allergy/itching (11.4%). In the rural zone, dry mouth (25.4%), sight alterations (35.6%) and leg pain (66.1%) were also more prevalent among those who used pesticides. The inadequate use of Individual Protection Equipment was 85.4%, and 45.1% also disposed of pesticide packaging inappropriately. The setting up of public health programs is necessary to promote health among the elderly and the potential exposure to pesticides for this population should be seen as a health risk determinant.

Elderly; Health of the elderly; Pesticides; Rural population; Cross-sectional studies

ABRASCO - Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva Av. Brasil, 4036 - sala 700 Manguinhos, 21040-361 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brazil, Tel.: +55 21 3882-9153 / 3882-9151 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil