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Cad Saude Publica. 2012 Nov;28(11):2085-94.

[Hemoglobin level in older adults and the association with nutritional status and use of health services: the Bambuí Project].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Núcleo de Estudosem Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil.


This study aimed to describe the prevalence of anemia and to evaluate the association between hemoglobin (Hb) level and indicators of nutritional status and health services utilization in an elderly population (≥ 60 years). Of the 1,742 older adults in the baseline of the Bambuí cohort, 1,441 (82.7%) were included. The dependent variable was Hb level, and the independent variables were number of hospitalizations and physician visits in the previous 12 months, body mass index (BMI), and serum albumin. Multivariate linear regression was performed, stratified by gender and adjusted for confounding factors. Prevalence of anemia was low (4.5%), with no difference by gender, and higher in the oldest old (10.2%). Low Hb level was associated with more physician visits and lower serum albumin and BMI in both men and women, suggesting a complex cycle between low Hb level, malnutrition, and medical care that should be considered when structuring health programs for the elderly.

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