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Informe Epidemiológico do Sus

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1673


COSTA, Maria Fernanda F. de Lima e; GUERRA, Henrique L; FIRMO, Josélia O. A  e  UCHOA, Elizabeth. The Bambuí Project: an epidemiological study of socio demographic characteristics, social support and selected health status indicators of the elderly compared with young adults. Inf. Epidemiol. Sus [online]. 2002, vol.11, n.2, pp.91-105. ISSN 0104-1673.

The objectives of the present study are: a) to describe the distribution of socio demographic characteristics, indicators of social support, and indicators of health status among the elderly, and b) to compare these characteristics with those of young adults living in the municipality of Bambuí, Minas Gerais. All inhabitants aged 60 or more years (1,742 individuals) and a random sample of 1,020 inhabitants aged 18-59 years were selected. From these, 1,606 (92.2%) and 909 (99.1%) participated in the study, respectively. The characteristics of the elderly, in comparison with young adults, were similar to the Brazilian population regarding age distribution, higher proportion of women in older ages, increasing fecundity, less education, less household income and increased proportion of widows and heads of family among the elderly. The ratio between sexes was close to those of urban areas in Brazil. The socioeconomic data pointed out the higher vulnerability of the elderly in the study population, in relation to young adults, especially among females. The social indicators revealed that the elderly are an important source of support to the family showing solidarity between generations. All indicators used showed decrease in health status with age, with a great proportion of hospitalization among elderly, especially among those oldest. Our results reinforce the need for further population based epidemiologic studies of the elderly to better understand their characteristics and social demands around the country.

Palavras-chave : Aging; Epidemiology; Aging Health; Bambuí-Brazil.

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