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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 127605, 8 pages
Research Article

Influence of Biopsychosocial Factors on the Survival of the Elderly in Northeast Brazil—A Prospective Study

Programa de Mestrado em Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, rua Moises Gosson, 1442, Lagoa Nova, CEP 59056-060 Natal-RN, Brazil

Received 23 February 2010; Revised 10 June 2010; Accepted 11 August 2010

Academic Editor: Arnold B. Mitnitski

Copyright © 2010 Álvaro Campos Cavalcanti Maciel and Ricardo Oliveira Guerra. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Identifying the risk factors peculiar to each population has a great relevance, because it enables health policy formulators to analyze information accurately and by doing so, define objectives and action programs aimed at a qualitative and economically feasible solution to the problem. Thus, this study aimed at identifying the risk factors for survival in elderly in a city in the state of Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Brazil. Methods. A prospective study was carried out, where 310 elderly persons were selected to form a baseline. The follow-up was 53 months. The predictive variables were divided into sociodemographic, physical health, neuropsychiatric and functional capacity. Statistical analysis was performed using bivariate analysis, survival analysis, followed by Cox regression in the multivariate analysis. Results. A total of 60 (19.3%) elderly individuals died during the follow-up. The survival mean was 24.8 months. In the Cox analysis, dependence in basic activities of daily living (HR = 3.55), cognitive deficit (HR = 4.22) and stroke (HR = 3.35) continued as independent risk factors for death. Discussion. The risk factors found in the study can be interpreted as the primary predictors for death among elderly members of the community.