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To evaluate health parameters (blood pressure, heart rate and blood glucose), the use of medicines and alcohol consumption in elderly residents in the city of São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.
A sample of 500 elderly individuals (98 men and 402 women, with mean age of 69.5 years) was examined. Personal data and medicines used by the patients were recorded, general health aspects were assessed and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was applied to survey alcohol consumption.
Two hundred and four patients (40.8%) presented high blood pressure and 93 patients (18.6%) had hyperglycemia. The most used pharmacological groups were antihypertensive drugs, antilipidemics, drugs to control hypothyroidism and hypoglycemic agents. Possible pharmacological interactions with alcohol were present in 60.9% of the used medicines. The AUDIT results showed that 91% of the sample presented a low-level intake of alcohol and only 1% presented characteristics of alcohol addiction. Associations were found among AUDIT scores with age (p=0.037), since a larger number of alcohol addicts were found among younger patients, and use of drugs (p=0.046), since patients who consumed more daily medicines made less use of alcohol (low-level).
The studied sample presented a high prevalence of hypertension and relatively low incidence of diabetes. A low use of drugs was verified and women made more use of daily medications than men. Low alcohol consumption was also observed, and women consumed less alcohol than men.
medicines, drugs, alcohol, elderly, general health
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