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Revista de Saúde Pública

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


ROSA, Tereza Etsuko da Costa; BENICIO, Maria Helena D'Aquino; LATORRE, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira  and  RAMOS, Luiz Roberto. Determinant factors of functional status among the elderly. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.1, pp.40-48. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of health-related demographic and socioeconomic factors, as well as the impact of factors associated to social activity and the subjective health evaluation on the functional status of elderly people. METHODS: A cross-sectional multicentric study was conducted in a representative population sample in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, in 1989. Functional status was evaluated using a scale of activities of personal and instrumental daily living. It was studied as a dichotomous variable: absence of dependency - disability/difficulty in none of the activities in contrast with moderate/severe dependency - disability/difficulty in 4 or more activities. Multiple regression analysis was applied to hierarchically clustered factors. RESULTS: Those with the following features were more associated to moderate/severe dependency: illiterate, retired, pensioner, housekeeper, living in a rented home, age over 65 years, multigenerational family composition, hospitalization in the last 6 months, mental health screening case, no visiting friends, and having a pessimistic perception of his/her own health when compared to their peers. CONCLUSIONS: The identified features associated to moderate/severe dependency suggest a complex net of causes for the declining functional status. However, one can assume that preventive measures directed to specific factors can benefit these population by improving their well-being.

Keywords : Elderly; Aging [physical fitness]; Activities of daily living; Risk factors; Models, statistical; Aging health; Functional status.

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