Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
COSTA, Maria Fernanda F Lima e et al. The Bambuí health and ageing study (BHAS): methodological approach and preliminary results of a population-based cohort study of the elderly in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.34, n.2, pp. 126-135. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102000000200005.
OBJECTIVE: A cohort study has been designed to identify predictors of adverse health events in the elderly. The methodology of the study and preliminary descriptive results are presented. METHODS: The study population comprises all residents of Bambuí (Minas Gerais, Brazil), aged 60 or more years (n=1.742). From these, 92.2% were interviewed and 85.9% underwent clinical examination, consisting of haematological and biochemical tests, serology for Trypanosoma cruzi, anthropometric and blood pressure measures and electrocardiogram. Aliquots of serum, plasma and DNA were stored for future investigations. The baseline interview included sociodemographic characteristics, self-referred health condition and history of selected diseases, medication use, health service use, source of medical care, physical activities, smoking, drinking and eating habits, reproductive history, physical functioning, life events, social support and mental health. Individuals are being followed up annually. RESULTS: The following characteristics predominated among participants: women (60,0%), married (48.9%) or widowed (35.4%), people living in households with up to 2 residents (73.8%), heads of family (76.7%), people with monthly income between 1.00 and 2.99 Brazilian minimum wages (62.0%) and people with up to 4 years of schooling (89.1%). The median age was 68 years. Among the cohort members, only 1.7% were lost in the first follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the characteristics of the study population were very similar to those from other epidemiological studies of the elderly based on large Brazilian cities. The small number of losses to follow-up indicates that the choice of Bambuí was adequate, assuring the feasibility of a long term cohort study.
Keywords : Ageing health; Ageing; Cohort studies; Health surveys; Elderly; Epidemiology; Brazil.