Revista de Saúde Pública
versión impresa ISSN 0034-8910
XAVIER, Flávio MF et al. Generalized anxiety disorder in a population aged 80 years and older. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.35, n.3, pp. 294-302. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102001000300013.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) in a community-dwelling population aged 80 years and older. Also, to compare sleep patterns, cognitive function and prevalence rate of other psychiatric conditions between healthy controls and GAD subjects. METHODS: DSM-IV criteria were used to diagnose GAD. A representative random sample of 77 community-dwelling subjects (35%), aged 80 years or more from the rural southern county of Veranopolis, Brazil, was selected. Sleep patterns were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and a 2-week sleep/wake diary. Five neuropsychological tests (Buschke-Fuld Selective Reminding Test, CERAD word list, verbal fluency test, and two sub-tests of the Wechsler memory scale) were used for cognitive evaluation. RESULTS: The estimated GAD prevalence was 10.6 percent. GAD was associated with major depression, with a significant greater number of depressive symptoms as measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale and with a significant more frequent occurrence of minor depression. Sleeping patterns and cognition function among GAD subjects were not compromised. The severity of physical diseases was similar in both GAD subjects and healthy controls. GAD was associated with a significantly lower health-related quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with previous studies, the prevalence of GAD is higher in the studied population. This disorder is frequently associated with both depressive symptoms and a lower health-related quality of life.
Palabras llave : Anxiety disorders [epidemiology]; Quality of life; Sleep; Depression; Prevalence; Aged, 80 and over; Aging health; Major depression; Minor depression.