AimAging is affecting health care all over Europe, but it is expected to have a much greater impact in Eastern Europe. Reliable data on various indicators of health of older adults in Eastern Europe are lacking. The objectives of the present study were to describe the health of older Romanian adults, and to examine its relationship with sociodemographic, psychological and social factors.
MethodsThis cross-sectional study used a stratified sample of 600 independent-living older Romanian adults from the great metropolitan area of Bucharest; 549 citizens aged 65 years participated. Data were collected by a mailed questionnaire and interviews. Measurements included self-rated health, the number of chronic conditions, the Short Form-20, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and Social support.
ResultsRomanian older adults rate their health as fair. On average, they report three chronic conditions. They more frequently have problems in executing daily activities as compared with older adults from other European countries. Three components of health are identified: independent functioning, suffering from chronic diseases and psychological health. Regression analysis shows that age, education and social support are related to each component, and neuroticism and extraversion to two components of health.
ConclusionsA comparison with international data shows various indicators of health of older Romanian adults to be relatively worse. The three identified components of health offer opportunities for an integrated approach to deal with the health care needs of older citizens. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2014; 14: 926-933.
- activities of daily living
- health status
- psychological health
- social support