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Arquivos de Medicina

versão On-line ISSN 2183-2447


BARROS, Catarina; GOMES, Ana  e  PINTO, Elisabete. Health status and lifestyles among portuguese elderly people: what has changed in 7 years?. Arq Med [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.6, pp.242-247. ISSN 2183-2447.

Aim Of the study: This study aims to compare health and lifestyle indicators, similarly assessed, in the last two National Health Surveys (NHS) regarding the elderly population. Methods: We used data collected in the last two NHS, carried out in 1998/1999 and in 2005/2006. The variables compared between the two periods were: self-perception of health, prevalence of some chronic diseases (self-reported), health services use, smoking, alcohol intake and number of daily meals. Results: Along these seven years, we observed an increase in the proportion of elderly who rated their health as good or very good (10.6% vs. 13.8%). A slight decrease in the proportion of elderly who attended =3 medical appointments in the trimester previous to the interview (29.4% vs. 25.2%) and an increase in the proportion of elderly who attended an oral care appointment within the last year (29.7% vs. 34.1%) were noticed. regarding chronic diseases, we observed increments of 10%, 3% and 4% in the hypertension (HT), diabetes (DM) and obesity prevalence, respectively. Concerning lifestyles, it is important to highlight a decrease of 50% in the smokers’ proportion and an increase of 25% in the proportion of elderly who reported eating =2 times between principal meals. Conclusion: Along these seven years, it was observed an increase in the prevalence of HT, DM and obesity but, simultaneously, an improvement of the self-perception of health status of the Portuguese elderly population, particularly among those who are =85 years old, a positive aspect to register as a consequence of the implementation of specific measures in this field.

Palavras-chave : Elderly people; health STATUS; lifestyles; national health survey.

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