Revista Española de Salud Pública
versão impressa ISSN 1135-5727
PEDRERA ZAMORANO, Juan Diego et al. Study on the health of the elderly in Extremadura: medication and most frequent chronic diseases. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.73, n.6, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57271999000600003.
Background: To ascertain the use of drugs among the non-institutionalised elderly population, the factors related to polypharmacy and pinpointing the relationship thereof with chronic diseases. Methods: Cross-sectional epidemiological study by means of door-to-door survey. The population systematically selected totalled 960 individuals age 65-93. The questionnaire included demographic data, self-asessed health condition, quantitative and qualitative aspects of the use of medications, chronic diseases and assesment of functional ability. Results: 91.62% of those surveyed were taking medication, a greater number of females (p<0.002) than males. The medications taken to the greatest extent were blood pressure drugs (42.4%), analgesics (38.7%) and heart drugs (24.8%). Drugs were used to a greater extent among the oldest age group (p<0.0001), those having the lowest educational level (p<0.001), those with impaired eyesight and hearing(p<0001), those having the lowest social status (p<001), more contacts with the health care services (p<0.0001), worse self-assessed health condition (p<0001), a greater number of chronic diseases (p<0.0001) and depressive disorders (p=0.004). The linear regression analysis revealed a positive relationship between the number of medications taken and the number of chronic diseases (r=0.518; p<0.0001). Females report worse health conditions (p<0.05). The variables analyzed with regard to polypharmacy by means of logistic regression are age (over age 75; OR=1.1478), three or more chronic diseases (OR=1.83) and poor self-assessed health condition (OR=1.22). Conclusions: Physical checkups on the elderly must include a review of the medications being taken, especially among those over age 75 who have a worse self-assessed health condition and a larger number of chronic diseases.
Palavras-chave : Elderly patient; Chronic diseases; Polypharmacy; Medication.