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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1561-3127Print version ISSN 0864-3466


BAYARRE VEA, Héctor Héctor D. et al. Prevalence of physical disability in aged people from five provinces in Cuba, 2000-2004. Rev. cub. salud pública [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.3, pp.1-17. ISSN 1561-3127.

Introduction: Mental disability in the aged people is one of the most important problems that the Cuban scientific community currently faces. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of mental disability in the aged people from the City of Havana, Las Tunas, Gramma, Holguín and Camagüey provinces from 2000 and 2004. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of complex samples (multi-stage cluster sampling) of randomly selected aged people from each of the above provinces, whose size was estimated through a calculation formula for descriptive studies in finite populations, was conducted. The Minimal Mental: Status Examination was applied. Global and specific mental disability prevalence rates were estimated. Data processing was computerized. Results Mental disability ranged from 4.5 % (Holguín province) to 21.5 % (Gramma province). It increased with the age, from 0.3% in 60-69 y age group dwelling in Holguín to 56.3% in the 80 years and over group in Las Tunas and it was predominant in females from all these provinces, with 20 % rates, except for Las Tunas (13.5 %) and Holguin (5.8 %). The main problems in the mental status were related to calculating and remembering, both in the disabled group and in the non-disabled group regardless of the province. Conclusions: Mental disability prevalence changes in the studied provinces, ranging from low rates in Holguin provinces to high rates in Gramma province. The highest rates of mental disability found in all these territories were associated with old age, female, low education and inactivity. The most frequent mental disturbances were calculation and remembering; all this should be taken into account for any intervention strategy to be designed to this end.

Keywords : Older people; physical disability; prevalence; Cuba.

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