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Rev Saude Publica. 2018 Oct 25;52Suppl 2(Suppl 2):3s. doi: 10.11606/S1518-8787.2018052000639.

Hospitalizations among older adults: results from ELSI-Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto René Rachou. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva. Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto René Rachou. Núcleo de Estudos em Saúde Pública e Envelhecimento. Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.



To examine the factors associated with hospital use and their frequency in a nationally representative sample of the Brazilian population aged 50 years or older.


Data from the baseline of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSI-Brazil), conducted in 2015-2016, were used. Predisposing, enabling and need factors for the use of health services were considered. The analyzes were based on the Hurdle regression model and on estimates of population attributable risks.


Among 9,389 participants, 10.2% had been hospitalized in the previous 12 months. After adjusting for potential confounding variables, statistically significant associations (p < 0.05) were observed for need factors (previous medical diagnosis for chronic diseases and limitation to perform basic activities of daily living) and for enabling factors (living in a rural area and in the North and Midwest regions of the country). The analysis of population attributable risks (PAR) showed a hierarchy of the need factors for the occurrence of hospitalizations, with higher contributions by stroke (PAR = 10.7%) and cardiovascular disease (PAR = 10.0%), followed by cancer (PAR = 8.9%), difficulty to perform basic activities of daily living (PAR = 6.8%), depression (PAR = 5.5%), diabetes (PAR = 4.4% ) and hypertension (PAR = 2.2%).


Four of the major diseases associated with hospitalizations (stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension) are part of the Brazilian list of primary care-sensitive hospitalizations. These results show that there is a window of opportunity to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations among older Brazilian adults through effective primary care actions.

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