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Revista de Salud Pública

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LEITE-CAVALCANTI, Christiane; RODRIGUES-GONCALVES, Maria da Conceição; RIOS-ASCIUTTI, Luiza Sonia  and  LEITE-CAVALCANTI, Alessandro. The prevalence of chronic disease in a group of elderly Brazilian people and their nutritional status. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.6, pp.865-877. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Evaluating the prevalence of chronic disease in a group of elderly people living in the city of João Pessoa, PB, Brazil and their nutritional status. Method 117 subjects aged 60 to 89 attending local Reference and Citizenship Centres were evaluated. The research instrument used was a questionnaire addressing socio-demographic, socioeconomic and anthropometric variables and health-related behaviour. The data so collected was organised using SPSS statistical software and presented via descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation, and absolute and percentage frequencies). Results 4.3 % and 9.4 % of the subjects admitted using tobacco and alcohol, respectively. 56.4 % did not engage in any physical activity. As many as 78.6 % used medications and 82.1 % admitted to suffering from some non-transmissible chronic disease, the most frequent being hypertension (56.4 %), dyslipidaemia (33.3 %) and diabetes mellitus (20.5 %). According to body mass index (BMI) classification, 46.2 % were overweight and 40.2 % presented degree I obesity. Regarding the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), abdominal obesity was diagnosed in 97.4 % of the elderly in the study. Conclusion The prevalence of chronic disease, especially hypertension, was high in the studied population. Most institutionalised elderly were classified as suffering from abdominal obesity, representing an extremely high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Keywords : Nutritional assessment; health services for the institutionalised elderly; overweight; obesity.

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