Functional dependence and support for the older persons in Mexico, 2001-2026

González-González et al.


Identify the factors associated with future functional dependence in the elderly in Mexico and with receiving or not receiving support for basic activities of daily living (ADLs); and project the prevalence of functional dependence in 2026.


Data from the 2001 National Health and Aging Study (ENASEM) and from the 2012 and 2015 follow-up rounds were used. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to analyze factors associated with future dependence, and a logistic regression model was used for factors associated with receiving or not support. The projected number of older persons with functional dependence in 2026 was based on data from the 2015 ENASEM and on estimated rates from the model of future dependence.


Older people, those with a lower educational level, those with hypertension, arthritis, or diabetes, those who had suffered a stroke or fall, and those with some degree of prior functional dependence had a significantly higher risk of mild or severe dependence and death within 11 years, compared to the reference group. Older people and those with severe dependence had higher odds of receiving support compared to reference groups. By 2026, it is estimated that 18.9% of older people in Mexico will have mild dependence and 9.3% will be severely dependent.


Factors associated with future dependence and death were age, educational level, certain chronic diseases, having fallen, and having prior functional dependence; the factors associated with receiving support for basic ADLs were severe dependence and age. It is estimated that the prevalence of dependence will increase 2.1 times over 25 years (2001-2026).

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