Comparison of frailty determinants in Latin America: a national representative study in Brazil and Chile

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Objective: This study aimed to compare the prevalence and socio-economic determinants of frailty in older adults in Brazil and Chile using nationally representative survey data. Study design: Analytical research using data from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSI) and the Chilean National Health Survey (ENS) conducted in Brazil and Chile between 2015 and 2017. Methods: The study included 5484 older adults aged 60 years or older in Brazil and 2031 in Chile. Frailty was measured using the FRAIL index, and logistic regression models were used to identify the de terminants of frailty. Results: The prevalence of frailty is 15.6% and 12.6% in Brazil and Chile, respectively. Frailty is associated with several factors, including age, sex, living alone, residing in urban areas, and decreased life satis faction. However, the analysis revealed notable differences between countries. A greater number of significant variables were associated with frailty in Brazil, whereas Chile displayed fewer categories with significant odds. Health insurance had no significant effect in either of the two countries. Conclusions: The limitations in data sources and methodologies make it challenging to compare frailty determinants in Latin America. This study overcomes these barriers and shows that, even within the same region, significant differences exist. Levels and characteristics that are important in one country may not be so in another. The results emphasize the need to consider contextual factors in the implementation of emerging social and healthcare policies, such as home-based long-term care.
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Public Healt, vol 228, p. 28-35
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