GERIA - Geria Study in Portugal on Health Effects of Air Quality in Elderly Care Centers

Teixeira, João, Nuno Neuparth, Amalia Botelho, Ana Papoila, Pedro Martins, Paulo Paixão, Iolanda Caires, Daniel Aelenei, João Viegas, Manuela Cano, and Ana Mendes GERIA - Geria Study in Portugal on Health Effects of Air Quality in Elderly Care Centers. Eds. Jo Teixeira, Nuno Neuparth, Am Botelho, Ana Papoila, Pedro Martins, Paix, Iolanda Caires, Daniel Aelenei, Jo Viegas, Manuela Cano, and Ana Mendes. Published by Instituto de Sa: ISPUP - Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, 2015.


As people have become increasingly aware, the age of the European population is rising and the percentage of adults aged 65 years and older is expected to increase. In addition, older people spend about 20 hours per day indoors, and many of them spend essentially their time in elderly care centers (ECC). In this sense, the study of indoor environments and how elder people may be particularly at risk of adverse health effects from pollutants, even at low exposures, due to multiple underlying chronic diseases is becoming an important issue to be addressed by research. Such conditions are highly prevalent, multifactorial, and associated with multiple comorbidities and poor outcomes, such as increased disability and decreased quality of life. The importance of this topic was heightened in 2012 by the World Health Day in 2012 Ageing and health with the theme "Good health adds life to years" and also the ?European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations?. Accordingly, this project is suitable to integrate these initiatives and to ensure greater recognition of what older people bring to society and create more supportive conditions for them. To our knowledge, this is the first study in Portugal to assess effects of indoor air contaminants on health status and quality of life in older persons living in ECC. The aim of GERIA project is to carry out a risk assessment, often difficult for older people, involving the identification of multiple factors potentially affecting health and quality of life, the quantification of human exposure to pollutants, and the evaluation of the individual?s response to these stimuli. The results of this project contribute to the understanding of health effects due to indoor environment variables and to provide health benefits to ECC residents with relatively simple measures.



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