Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
SILVA, Andréia Lobato da and SAINTRAIN, Maria Vieira de Lima. Influence of the epidemiological profile of the elderly in dental care. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2006, vol.9, n.2, pp. 242-250. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2006000200011.
With the considerable increase in the elderly population, there is a growing need for professionals who are qualified to deal with this age group, especially healthcare professionals. The main objective in this study was to compare the epidemiological profile of the adults and the elderly seen at the dental clinic of the University of Fortaleza. Indicators with information from the semiology cards of institutional medical records relating to the period between 2000 and 2002 were built from a cross-sectional sample. In this way, the relationship between age and systemic changes, as well as the influence on dental care, could be verified. Seven hundred and two records were examined, of which 520 individuals were in the 45- to 59-year-old group, and 182 were 60 years old and above. The average patient age was 55 years for the first group, and 66 for the second one. The female gender was predominant in both groups; there was also a prevalence of people who did not graduate from high school. Results pointed out cardiovascular, skeletal muscle, endocrine, and genitourinary diseases as the most frequent. The frequency and the amount of self-referred diseases were higher in patients 60 years old or above and presented statistical significance when compared to the 45- to 59-year-old group. As people get older, they develop physiological, and/or pathological alterations that affect dental treatment. It should be pointed out that the older the patient, the greater the likelihood of multiple diseases in the same individual. This requires the use of different medicines. A direct relationship between geriatric dentistry and the systemic manifestations referred has been established, leading to the need for greater attention in the dental care of the elderly.
Keywords : Epidemiology; Aging; Oral Health.