Revista Cubana de Salud Pública
versão impressa ISSN 0864-3466
ALONSO GALBAN, Patricia et al. Population aging and frailty of the elderly. Rev. cub. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.33, n.1, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0864-3466. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0864-34662007000100010.
The number of persons aged over 60 years worldwide increased to 700 millions in the 90's of the 20 th century; it is estimated that by 2025 there will be around 1.2 billion elders. The present paper set forth the process of demographic transition that is taking place, its classification and meaning for the mankind. The types of human aging and their essential characteristics were stated. The historical evolution of "frailty of the elder" and "frail old man" together with the main definitions issued by several authors, who have addressed the topic, were presented. The Cuban criteria of frailty were also added. This paper presented the different criteria of frailty all over the world grouped into 4 categories -medical, functional, mental and sociodemographic-, and a table containing all these known criteria under these categories up to the present and by decades when they were formulated. A graph reflecting a historical series of aging in Cuba was included. It was warned that the number of frail elders out of the percentage of older people dwelling in Cuba was unknown. Therefore, knowing this information is crucial for the planning and development of health intervention strategies aimed at the older population by the national health system, the government and the communities as well.
Palavras-chave : Population aging; frailty; elderly.