OBJECTIVE: To investigate the medication classes used, and which are likely to produce gustatory changes in elderly people and to identify the most prevalent gustatory change types.
METHODS: The sample comprised 203 elderly from the Retiree and Pensioner Metal Workers Association of Ipatinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil, aged 60 years or older, from both genders, who make chronic use of any medication. The three-droplet test, which evaluates the four primary tastes, was used to investigate these elderly gustatory functions.
RESULTS: The medication classes most commonly used by the elderly were anti-hypertensive (70.9%), lipid-lowering (36.0%), antacid (19.2%), oral hypoglycemic (17.7%), anti-platelet (15.3%), thyroid hormone (13.3%), antidepressant (11.3%) and benzodiazepines (9.4%). Elderly people using antihypertensive medications showed more chances of having gustatory changes for salty flavors (OR = 2.4; 95%CI 1.2 - 4.6) and sweet flavors (OR = 2.3; 95%CI 1.2 - 4.4). Among the antihypertensive medications, beta-blockers (OR = 1.8; 95%CI 1.3 - 4.2) and diuretic drugs (OR = 2.0; 95%CI 1.0 - 3.8) increased the patients' chance of developing gustatory changes for sweet flavors. The other antihypertensive classes, as well as antidepressant and antiplatelet medications were not significantly associated with gustatory changes. It was observed that 41.4% of the sample showed gustatory changes for salty tastes, 40.4% of them showed gustatory changes for sweet tastes, 14.3% for acid tastes and 13.8% for bitter tastes.
CONCLUSION: This study showed the chronic medication use may lead to gustatory changes in elderly people, especially for sweet tastes. Among the medications evaluated, antihypertensive stood out among the medication classes, specifically beta-blockers and diuretics.
Keywords: aged; taste; pharmaceutical preparations.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether the best functional mobility may be more associated with fewer falls and better functional performance in healthy community-dwelling elderly.
METHODS: Forty-one elderly were divided into two groups according to their performance on Timed Up & Go (TUG) test and were assessed for history of falls; fear of falling (Falls Efficacy Scale International - FES-I); hand grip strength; muscle power (Five Times Sit-to-Stand Test - FTSST); Gait Speed (GS) on 10m; and Six Minutes Walking Test (6MWT). For comparison between groups, the Student’s t-test for independent samples and Mann-Whitney U test were performed (p < 0.05).
RESULTS: Eighteen elderly reached the cut-off point in TUG for their age and were allocated in Group 1 (G1, n = 18, age 66.1 ± 6.7 years; TUG = 7.3 ± 0.4s) and 23 elderly did not reach the cut-off point proposed for their age and were distributed in Group 2 (G2, n = 23, age = 68.7 ± 6.4 years; TUG = 10.2 ± 2.6s). The G1 compared to G2 showed better: muscle power (FTSST = 11.7 ± 2.0 s vs. 12.8 ± 2.2 s, p = 0.032); Gait Speed (GS = 1.6 ± 0.2 vs. 1.4 ± 0.3m/s, p = 0.001), and distance walked (6 MWT = 506.9 ± 60.1 m vs. 421.2 ± 70.9 m, p = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Good functional mobility may indicate better musculoskeletal performance, and functional exercise capacity in healthy community-dwelling elderly.
Keywords: evaluation; elderly; accidental falls; postural balance; gait; muscle strength.
BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease worldwide, and it occurs mainly later in life. Many factors are associated with osteoarthritis development, including decline in muscle strength. Muscle strengthening exercises have been recognized as important approaches to osteoarthritis conservative management of the knee; however, issues related to its applicability in terms of intensity are still elusive.
OBJECTIVE: Studies using high-intensity exercises have shown inconsistent results, thus the purpose of this study was to analyze the response to high-intensity strength training for muscle strength and physical function in an older healthy population, as well as their attitudes towards the strength training.
METHODS: This study employed a within-subject, repeated measure, in an experimental design to assess the response to strength training for physical mobility and strength in a cohort of 10 healthy older subjects at baseline and after six weeks of intervention.
RESULTS: The statistical analysis demonstrated that knee extensor isokinetic peak torque significantly improved (p < 0.05) after intervention, whereas knee flexors only showed a trend for improvement (p = 0.066). Repetition maximum tests had significant improvements for all exercises performed. There was no change in physical mobility after intervention (p = 0.163).
CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate that high-intensity strength training was safe and has potential value in healthy older people.
Keywords: resistance training; aging; exercise.
INTRODUCTION: Aging causes, simultaneously, profound changes in body composition and nutritional status of the elderly.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the loss of muscle and adipose mass in residents of a Long Term Care Institution for the Elderly.
METHODS: Observational and longitudinal study with an interval of three months between the two evaluations. Participated 34 elderly (mean age: 81.8 years; 23.5% male; 76.5% female), living in an Long Term Care Institution for the Elderly of Teresina, Piauí. Anthropometric measures of body composition, measured in triplicate by the same researcher, for Lange compass and tape measure the circumference of the calf and triceps skinfold were used to classify the nutritional status.
RESULTS: At baseline, 24 (70.6%) and 16 (47.1%) individuals had protein malnutrition and energy malnutrition according circumference of the calf and triceps skinfold, respectively. After three months, there was an increase of protein malnutrition and energy malnutrition for 27 (79.4% - circumference of the calf) and 17 (50% - triceps skinfold) subjects, with no statistical significance between genders. However, there were significant differences between the averages of circumference of the calf (29.9 ± 2.9, 28.8 ± 2.6; p < 0.05) of the elderly aged 70 to 79. This worsening of the nutritional status, from losses in the reserves of muscle and fat mass, is reaffirmed, even with significant differences, when comparing frequencies and distributions of circumference of the calf and triceps skinfold between the two evaluations of the total studied.
CONCLUSION: The nutritional evaluations have shown significant changes in body composition of institutionalized elderly, generating nutritional risk that requires attention to the elderly.
Keywords: aged; nutrition assessment; anthropometry; homes for the aged; health policy.
OBJECTIVE: Descriptive study to identify the risks and to demonstrate the need to establish safety mechanisms for the elderly in major events.
METHODS: It was analyzed the main causes of 10 major events worldwide, which resulted in incidents with at least 200 casualties (dead and wounded) during the period from 1960 to 2015. The fire codes of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were analyzed regarding the safety required for major events.
RESULTS: There were 2,002 deaths in total, as a direct consequence of these mass casualties incidents. The number of injured is not accurate, but surpasses 3,500 victims. In 100% of cases, overcrowding, lack, location or inadequate number of emergency exits as well as insufficient supervision and panic, were present. These elements were directly responsible for the high number of victims. In 100% of the analyzed fires, the system of prevention/flames fighting was also non-existent or inappropriate. The technical standards adopted by the Fire Departments of both Brazilian States analyzed, impose an elevated risk for older people.
CONCLUSION: The elderly are particularly vulnerable to incidents with multiple victims at major events. The estimate of the maximum capacity of the public and emergency exits does not take into account the characteristics of the age group of patrons, which include the walking speed. It is necessary to change the fire codes and implementing mechanisms in order to reduce vulnerabilities and increase safety and security for this population.
Keywords: disasters; fires; aged; standards.
This article discusses the situation of dependent elderly person, the increase in demand of long-term care, due to increased life expectancy, and service alternatives. Among these alternatives, emphasis is placed on the services provided by a care insurance, through the transfer of funds to policyholders or through services offered by the State, provided for by law, and in both cases there is the beneficiary’s contribution.
Keywords: aged; standard of care; long-term care.