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Nutritional status and living conditions of adults and older people in quilombola communities, municipality of Santarem, Para - Amazon, Brazil

International Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Journal
Hurtado Guerrero Ana Felisa,1 Toledo, Luciano Medeiros de Silva,2 Denise Oliveira e Silva,3 José Camilo Hurtado-Guerrero4

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Objective: To evaluate the nutritional status and living conditions of adults and older people from remaining quilombo communities in the municipality of Santarem, Para, Brazil.

Methods: cross-sectional study conducted in the quilombola communities of Bom Jardim, Murumurutuba, Murumuru, Tiningú, Arapemã and Saracura. Data collection involved an anthropometric evaluation and application of a semi-structured questionnaire to identify socioeconomic, demographic and environmental conditions. A descriptive analysis of the data was performed and inferencial statistics involved nominal logistic regression to identify the social variables that had some effect on the nutritional status of adults.

Results: A total of 533 individuals, aged ≥18 years, participated in the study. The predominance of women was found to be 53.4%, married or friends 72.9%, with complete primary education (56.8%) and Catholics (88.7%). The largest proportion of the population was in the area of land (65.6%). However, the largest number of adults and older people were concentrated in the Saracura quilombo, a floodplain area (21.9%). The worst perception of health status was with permanent difficulty to see (36.4%). They lived with household income less than 1 minimum wage (66.0%), houses with clay, wood and other floors (72.5%%), lighting with kerosene lamps (85.9%), use of rudimentary pits as toilet (type dug or black) (88.2%). And water supply of the river or the creek (44.4%). A positive association was observed between low weight and the age group of the older people. Obesity in adults was significantly associated with the age group, as well as with the origin of the minimum income (unemployment insurance or Bolsa Família (schoolarship and/or family grant). It was observed that there was a significant difference between the overweight, the age group and the female gender with the location of the quilombo (floodplain: várzea or dryland: terra firme), and with the origin of the water (shaft or cacimba). It was found that malnutrition, especially in the older people, is a relevant problem.

Conclusions: This study is an important support instrument for the discussion of health of the quilombola population, since the results showed the existence of social vulnerability and health situations, differentiated according to the geographical location of the quilombos, which is closely related to climate seasonality, as well as to environmental, socioeconomic and demographic conditions. The need for further studies to deepen the characterization of these communities on analysis, linked to discussions on the establishment of sustainable social protection systems for the improvement of the quality of life in these territories, is thus highlighted.


social inequalities, nutritional situation, adults, older people, remaining quilombola communities, Aamazon