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Am J Public Health. 1997 Mar;87(3):365-70.

Unmet health care needs and mortality among Spanish elderly.

Author information

1
Health Services Research Unit, Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study estimates the prevalence of unmet health care needs among the elderly of Barcelona, Spain, and analyzes the association between unmet needs and mortality.

METHODS:

Home interviews were conducted with 1315 elderly in Barcelona. Individuals were classified as having a "health services need" if they reported being in fair, poor, or very poor health; suffering from two or more chronic conditions; or being dependent in at least one basic activity of daily living. Need was considered unmet if no visits to or from a physician in the previous 12 months were reported. Mortality was assessed from census data in August 1991.

RESULTS:

Between 10% and 25% of the elderly in need reported no use of health services. After a median of 60.3 months, those with unmet health care needs presented a higher risk of mortality, adjusted for several confounding factors: relative risk [RR] = 2.55 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22, 5.32) for unmet activity of daily living dependency; RR = 1.80 (95% CI = 1.20, 2.70) for unmet comorbidity; and odds ratio = 1.10 (95% CI = 0.59, 2.05) for unmet poor self-rated health.

CONCLUSION:

Noninstitutionalized elderly individuals with unmet health care needs are at increased risk of dying.

PMID:
9096535
PMCID:
PMC1381006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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