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Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2004 Oct-Dec;50(4):367-72. Epub 2005 Jan 14.

[Health and aging study: prevalence of chronic joint symptoms among the elderly in Bambuí].

[Article in Portuguese]

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  • 1Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento, Centro de Pesquisa René Rachou (Fiocruz), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais.



Arthritis is one of the more prevalent chronic conditions and a leading cause of disability in the elderly. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and to identify the factors associated with arthritis in the elderly population of Bambuí, Brazil.


A population based cross-sectional study was carried out among 1606 senior citizens ( > or = 60 years of age). Arthritis was defined by: a) report of medical diagnosis of arthritis and b) report of chronic hand and knee symptoms (CHKS). Multiple logistic regression was used to investigate the independent association between arthritis and selected factors.


Prevalence of medical diagnosis of arthritis was of 25.3% (15.3% in men and 31.9% in women). Prevalence of CHKS was of 44.2%. CHKS was negatively associated with gender (masculine) and years of education ( > or = 8) and positively associated with Body Mass Index (25-29, 30-34, > or = 35 kg/m2), report of myocardial infarct, stroke symptoms and Chaga's disease.


Our results are consistent with other studies concerning higher prevalence of arthritis among obese and less educated women. Association of CHKS with the report of some chronic conditions may be related to greater utilization of health services motivated by these conditions. This finding requires further investigation in future studies. Identification of these characteristics of the senior citizens living in the community, with a higher prevalence of arthritis may subsidize the organization of healthcare programs for this age group.

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