Overview of Rheumatic Diseases in the Elderly: The FIBRA Study

  • Sarina Francescato Torres State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4603-8066
  • Anita Liberalesso Neri State University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
  • Flávia Silva Arbex Borim State University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
Keywords: Rheumatic diseases, Osteoarthritis, Arthritis, Elderly, Epidemiology.


Introduction: The high prevalence of rheumatic diseases and the countless adverse effects caused in the individual make them a great challenge for
governments and healthcare systems worldwide. Objective: To assess the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly and their relationship with some
biopsychosocial variables. Method: This is a cross-sectional population-based study whose data were obtained from the FIBRA Study electronic database,
developed in the 2008-2009 period and involving 2,593 individuals older than 65 years who lived in urban areas. Results: We found that rheumatic
diseases have a prevalence of 43.5% in the elderly sample, with mean age of 72.3 years old and predominance of females. The biopsychosocial variables
more strongly associated with rheumatic diseases were: chronic diseases (52.1%); depressive symptoms (56.7%); regular (48.5%), poor or very poor (52.3%) health self-evaluation; report of one (49.7%) or more (62.7%) cases of falls; and obesity (57.0%). Conclusion: We found a high prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly population and a close relationship of these with the individual’s biopsychosocial variables, and given the world population ageing, the scenario is worsened in the public healthcare and thus strategies for prevention and early treatment of these diseases should be implemented urgently.


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Author Biographies

Sarina Francescato Torres, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP)
Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. Departamento de Gerontologia.
Anita Liberalesso Neri, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP)

Psychologist. Post-graduate co-ordinator and professor in the post-graduate program in Gerontology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Flávia Silva Arbex Borim, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP)

Physiotherapist. Professor in the post-graduate program in Gerontology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


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How to Cite
Torres, S. F., Neri, A. L., & Borim, F. S. A. (2016). Overview of Rheumatic Diseases in the Elderly: The FIBRA Study. PAJAR - Pan American Journal of Aging Research, 4(1), 21-30. https://doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2016.1.23765
Original Article