Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
NUNES, Ana Paula Nogueira; BARRETO, Sandhi Maria and GONCALVES, Luana Giatti. Social relations and self- rated health: the ageing and health project. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.2, pp.415-428. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2012000200019.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between social relationships and self-perceived health in the elderly. METHODS: cross-sectional study of a representative sample of elderly individuals covered by the Family Health Program and residents in an area of high health vulnerability in Belo Horizonte, MG. Information was obtained through structured interviews. Factors associated with poor or very poor self-perceived health were identified by multiple logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: 363 out of 371 eligible elderly participated; 17.1% of elderly self-perceived their health as poor. There was a positive dose-response relationship between poor self-perceived health and the number of chronic diseases and the degree of difficulty to perform daily life activities. Elderly individuals who perceived their personal relationships as bad and who could not count on anyone if they became bedridden were more likely to self-rate their health as poor. Working was negatively associated with self-perceived poor health. CONCLUSION: The results confirm the multidimensional structure of self-perceived health including the issues related to health and social relationships. Our results strengthen the role of social relations on health.
Keywords : Health of the elderly; Elderly; Self-rated health; Social relationships; Social support; Aging.