OBJECTIVES: To characterize the geriatric population under dialysis in a specialized center. To identify factors possibly involved with death risk in this population.
METHODS: Sixty two volunteers, (83% of the older patients of that center, six were excluded) were submited to the application of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Clock-Drawing test (CDT), the Verbal Fluency test and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Biochemical tests were also performed. After 12 months, the patients' files were reassessed as to mortality and associated factors data.
RESULTS: Volunteers alive after 12 months were younger (68.18 ± 5.7 years) than those that died (74.06 ± 7.36 years), p = 0.001. Male gender was predominant (60.7%). In alive and deceased groups, the results for blood tests were, respectively: parathormone 369.87 ± 318.90 and 368.50 ± 501.47 (p > 0.05); creatinine 6.89 ± 2.05 and 5.23 ± 1.15 (p = 0.002); albumine 3.66 ± 0.35 and 3.74 ± 0.644 (p > 0.05); total cholesterol 165.55 ± 45.16 and 169.35 ± 38.68 (p > 0.05); triglycerides 144.57 ± 80.95 and 126.94 ± 77.71 (p > 0.05); HDL 38.27 ± 14.26 and 44.22 ± 10.78 (p > 0.05); calcium 9.40 ± 0.77 and 9.14 ± 0.68 (p > 0.05); KT/V 1.64 ± 0.32 and 1.63 ± 0.27 (p > 0.05). MMSE differed between groups (p = 0.03) and creatinine showed to be a potential death-related factor. GDS had similar scores between the two groups (p = 0.06).
CONCLUSIONS: MMSE scores were directly associated with mortality in older patients submitted to hemodialysis. The correlation between lower serum creatinine level and mortality is possibly caused by a worse nutritional status of those patients.
Keywords: Elderly, chronic kidney failure, substitutive renal therapy, depression, cognitive disorders.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the effects of strength training (ST) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on the quadriceps muscle in elderly women.
METHODS: The isotonic and isometric muscular strength of the quadriceps femoris was evaluated in eight volunteers (69.3 ± 4.8 years) by one maximum repetition test (1RM) with weights and by the device of load cell, respectively. The ST, by the Located Muscular Strengthening (LMS) program, and NMES were applied to the quadriceps in the same subjects, however, in opposing members, two days a week during six weeks.
RESULTS: As LMS (10.8 ± 2.5 versus 14.9 ± 2.3 kg; p = 0.001) as NMES (10.1 ± 1.4 versus 12.8 ± 1.4 kg; p = 0.002) increased the isotonic muscular strength. The LMS (p = 0.126) and the NMES (p = 0.062) did not modify the isometric muscular strength. The increase of the isotonic muscular strength was greater with LMS than with NMES (41.1 ± 16.3% versus 26.7 ± 11.2%; p = 0.009).
CONCLUSIONS: The ST produced a major increase in isotonic muscular strength than the NMES did. The ST and NMES improved the isotonic strength and did not alter the isometric muscular strength of quadriceps in elderly women.
Keywords: Elderly, physical exercise, quadriceps muscle, electric stimulation.
OBJECTIVES: To identify experiences and representations related to menopause in a group of climacteric women living in the southern region of Brazil.
METHODS: A qualitative study involving 30 postmenopausal women aged between 45 and 60, living in the city of Caxias do Sul, RS. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Interviews analysis was based on analysis of contend.
RESULTS: Interviewees were in average 54.3 (± 3.9) years old, presenting an average menopause time of 6.7 years. Four categories were delineated from the narratives obtained as representative of menopause: climacteric symptoms, sexual changes, emotional difficulties and social adaptation. Most common complaints were hot flushes, followed by urogenital atrophy and sexually related changes. Also common were complaints about anxiety, irritability, and depressive mood. Feelings of change pervaded the speeches of interviewed women, being common references to menopause as a period of loses and aging alternated with manifestations of satisfaction due to cessation of menstrual bleeding and higher self-confidence. Attitudes and feelings related to menopause showed to be influenced by the social environment and culture.
CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of interviews pointed out to menopause as a biological event which has effects on the psychological field, influenced by the social imaginary and cultural background of each woman. An interconnection of biological, psychological and social issues has been identified, which makes it difficult for the woman to differentiate what results from the body, from the mind or from both.
Keywords: Climacterium, menopause, qualititative study.
Ageing is an universal process. In association with this process, disabilitating events, mainly falls, may occur leading to health decline and autonomy and independence losses. Falls yield physical, emotional and social consequences; they have multifactorial etiology, being the reduction of functional vision a very important factor. The purpose of this literature review was to examine the correlation between deficits of functional vision and falls in the elderly, especially considering that they are neglected cause of falling. Evidences were search in the databases MedLine, SciELO, Lilacs and PEDro, and 16 papers were selected. The analyses of the evidences have shown that there is a positive correlation between deficits in functional vision, mainly visual acuity, and falls and/or other predictors such as deficits in postural stability and mobility. The literature points out that a simple identification and visual deficit correction and home environment modifications are interventions capable to prevent falls in elderly persons.
Keywords: Elderly, functional vision, falls.
Health plays a major role in ageing process and we can approach quality of life of the older people through their health status. Despite ageing condition is not a risk in itself, it is possible to predict that losses will occur. As a result of that older people assess their health assuming the limitations inherent to those activities they value. There are functional and personal aims that explain the assessment of health status, which makes that the importance of health, more precisely the importance of perceived health in quality of life, becomes a source of controversy issue regarding the apparent paradox between certain levels of disability and reported well-being. This paper reflects some critical points of the relationship between health and psychological condition during ageing process, presenting findings of studies with Portuguese samples made by Unit of Research and Training in Adults and Elders (www.unifai.net), which the authors are members.
Keywords: Ealth, ageing, quality of life.