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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


OTERO, Ubirani Barros; ROZENFELD, Suely; GADELHA, Angela Maria Jourdan  and  CARVALHO, Marilia Sá. Malnutrition mortality in the elderly, southeast Brazil, 1980-1997. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.2, pp.141-148. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the frequency of nutritional disturbances as cause of death in elderly. METHODS: Female and male subjects aged 60 years and more were selected from municipalities of the southeastern region between 1980 and 1997. Data was collected from death certificates provided by the Death Data System (1980-1998) and the population size was estimated using data provided by the Center for Regional Development and Planning (Cedeplar). Death categorization was performed using the ICD-9 (260 to 263.9) for the period 1980 to 1995 and ICD-10 (E40 to E46) for recent years. RESULTS: In Brazil, between 1980 and 1997, there were 36,955 deaths associated to malnutrition among elderly. The southeast region concentrates the largest number of deaths, 23,968 (64.9%). In the state of São Paulo, there were 11,067 deaths caused by malnutrition in elderly and in the state of Rio de Janeiro, 7,763. These two regions are responsible for the highest values observed for the region. There are higher death proportions and mortality rates among subjects aged 70 years and more than in subjects of any sex of the age group 60 to 69 years. CONCLUSION: The preliminary results of the study raise some issues as follows: the role of malnutrition as an associated cause of death; the trend of increased number of deaths for malnutrition among elderly people; distinctive death characteristics among states in the same geographic region. Statistical analysis such as time series analysis might explain better these issues. There is a need to further study the role of malnutrition among elderly aged 60 years and more to establish adequate intervention programs.

Keywords : Mortality; Aged; Nutrition disorders; Death certificates; Underlying cause of death; Mortality rate; Residence characteristics; Malnutrition.

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