Socio-demographic and health characteristics of elderly individuals: support for health services.
ABSTRACT This is a sectional epidemiological study including a household survey. It describes the socio-demographic and health conditions of elderly individuals residing in Guarapuava, PR, Brazil. The study's sample consisted of 359 elderly individuals enrolled in primary health care units in the city. Interviews were conducted from January to April 2010 using sections I and II of the Brazil Old Age Schedule questionnaire. The results revealed that most interviewees were women (64.3%), health self-perception was considered 'good' by 54.6%, and the most prevalent diseases were hypertension (34.9%), diabetes mellitus (12,4%) and arthritis/arthrosis (12.2%). Most elderly individuals use dental prostheses (74.4%) and 56.5% wear glasses or contact lenses. The conclusion is that knowledge concerning the social, demographic, and health profiles of these individuals favors the implementation of actions specific to this age group by health providers, and helps managers to develop health indicators.