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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2018, Article ID 8450468, 11 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/8450468
Research Article

Reaching 100 in the Countryside: Health Profile and Living Circumstances of Portuguese Centenarians from the Beira Interior Region

1University of Beira Interior, Rua Marquês d'Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
2Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido da Costa, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
3Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of Porto, Rua Jorge de Viterbo Ferreira 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
4University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
5Health Sciences Research Centre (CICS), Avenida Infante D. Henrique, 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
6Cluster of Cova da Beira Health Centers (ACeS Cova da Beira), Av. 25 de Abril, 6200-090 Covilhã, Portugal
7Research Center in Sport Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD), Quinta de Prados, Edifício de Ciências do Desporto, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal

Correspondence should be addressed to Rosa Marina Afonso; tp.ibu@osnofamr

Received 1 December 2017; Revised 6 April 2018; Accepted 3 May 2018; Published 13 June 2018

Academic Editor: Gjumrakch Aliev

Copyright © 2018 Rosa Marina Afonso et al. 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.

Abstract

The interest in studying a specific population of centenarians who lives in the country’s interior region (PT100-BI) emerged during the first Portuguese systematic study about centenarians (PT100 Oporto Centenarian Study). This region of Portugal is predominantly rural and is one of the regions with the largest number of aged people. The aim of this study is to provide information on the centenarians who live in the Beira Interior region, specifically in terms of their health status and the health services they use. A total of 101 centenarians (mean age: 101.1 years; SD = 1.5 years), 14 males and 87 females, were considered. Most centenarians lived in the community, and 47.6% lived in nursing homes. Nearly half (47.5%) presented cognitive functioning without deficits. A noteworthy percentage presented conditioned mobility and sensory problems. The most common self-reported diseases include urinary incontinence (31.7%), high blood pressure (23.8%), and heart conditions (19.8%). Despite these health and functional characteristics, formal support services and technical assistance were found to be scarcely used. Further research is needed to understand how the role of contextual variables and the countryside environment contribute to the centenarians’ adaptation to advanced longevity.