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Biomédica

versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157

Resumo

CARDONA, Doris; ESTRADA, Alejandro  e  AGUDELO, Héctor Byron. Quality of life and health conditions of the elderly population of Medellin. Biomédica [online]. 2006, vol.26, n.2, pp.206-215. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction. The process of aging presents functional limitations, loss of autonomy, independence, adaptability and motor disfunction. These changes raise challenges and concerns of vital importance both for those individuals who face them and for government organizations, thus motivating inquiry about the life and health conditions of the elderly. Objective. To describe some components of the quality of life of the elderly population (aged 65 years or older) living in Medellin, including socio-demographic, family, social security and health conditions. Materials and methods. A descriptive study was conducted using the following sources of information: a survey of quality of life that was carried out in 1997 and 2001; death certificates from 1990 to 1999; hospital discharge records from 1990 to 1997; and a telephone survey carried out in the year 2002 in 637 randomly selected elderly individuals. Results. A 168% increase occurred in this population group from 1964 to 2001, substantiating the stage of demographic transition throughout the city. The 65% loss of purchasing power observed between 1997 to 2001 and the situation of isolation in which the elderly population lives, characterize its loss of independence and self-esteem. Conclusion. 97% of the quality of life in the elderly population of Medellin was explained by the following components: independence, social and economic security, and networks of social support.

Palavras-chave : demographic aging; quality of life; social support; social security; health conditions; Colombia.

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