Functional disability and associated factors in urban elderly: a population-based study

Darlene Mara dos Santos Tavares, Paula Berteli Pelizaro, Maycon Sousa Pegorari, Mariana Mapelli de Paiva, Gianna Fiori Marchiori



Population aging may cause impaired functional abilities in the elderly population, with increased rates of functional disability. Early detection of functional disability makes it possible to postpone possible complications and helps with health action planning. The objective of this study was to investigate the factors associated with functional disability in urban elderly. We conducted an analytical and cross-sectional household survey with 1,691 urban elderly individuals in Uberaba (MG), Brazil, in 2012. The questionnaire included socioeconomic and clinical information. We used the following instruments to assessed the participants: Abbreviated Geriatric Depression Scale, Katz Index, and Lawton and Brody Scale. We performed a descriptive bivariate analysis and used a logistic regression model (p<0.05). The prevalence of functional disability in basic activities of daily living was 21.2%; whereas the prevalence of functional disability in instrumental activities of daily living was 65.9%. The following factors were associated with functional disability in basic and instrumental activities of daily living, respectively: age of 80 years old and older [(OR= 2.18; p<0.001), (OR=3.30, p<0.001)]; larger number of self-reported diseases [(OR=1.24, p<0.001), (OR=1.12; p<0.001)]; and symptoms of depression [(OR=1.49; p<0.003), (OR = 1.75, p<0.001)]; whereas no schooling (OR=1.88; p<0.001) was related to functional disability in instrumental activities of daily living. We found significant impairment of functional status, especially in instrumental activities of daily living and in association with socioeconomic and health variables; those aspects support the implementation of actions aimed at monitoring and controlling the factors that interfere with the functional ability of the elderly.


Activities of daily living; Elderly; Health status

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The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, BrazilThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribuição 3.0 Unported License.