Vol. 2 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2008
Original Article Páginas: 119 a 124

General psychiatric or depressive symptoms were not predictive for mortality in a healthy elderly cohort in Southern Brazil

Authors Maria Otilia Cerveira, Adelar Pedro Franz, Ana Luiza Camozzato, Márcia Lorena Fagundes Chaves


keywords: psychiatric symptoms, depressive symptoms, mortality, elderly cohort, Brazil.

General psychiatric symptoms may interfere with the ability of individuals to take care of their health, to get involved with activities and develop social abilities, thereby increasing risk of death. Objective: To evaluate general psychiatric symptoms as predictive factors for mortality in a community elderly cohort in Southern Brazil. Methods: 345 healthy elderly, aged .60 years, from the catchment area of Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre were followed from 1996. Data for the present study were drawn from the period 1996-2004. General psychiatric symptoms (Self-Reporting Questionnaire . SRQ), depressive symptoms (Montgomery-Asberg depressive rating scale), and Mini Mental State Examination scores at baseline were included in the study. Socio-demographic, medical conditions, and functional capacity were also analyzed. The outcome was vital status at follow-up obtained from family members, hospital records and checked against official death registers. Results: Of the 345 baseline individuals, 246 were followed-up. The global mortality rate over the study period was 36.9% (N=90). Those who deceased during the period were older (73.5±}7.5), more dependent overall, and more cognitively impaired than the living elderly (univariate analyses). In the logistic regression, only age (OR=0.93; p=0.003) and functional capacity (OR=0.22; p=0.007) remained significant in the final equation. Conclusion: Psychiatric symptoms presented no association with mortality in the present sample. Older age and functional incapacity were risk factors for mortality.


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