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GERIA - studying the health effects of air quality in elderly care centres

Portugal /2012-/2015


GERIA is the first study in Portugal to assess the possible effects of indoor air contaminants on the health and quality of life of seniors living in elderly care centres.

According to the researchers behind this project, the indoor air quality (IAQ) is a special concern and a critical contributor to the health and quality of life of elderly residents in care centres. “Ageing adults, particularly the elderly, can have weakened immune systems and age-related health problems which make them more vulnerable to health complications associated with indoor air pollution. This is particularly true for some groups at risk with chronic diseases as respiratory infections, cardiovascular illness and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”, they explain.

The study, launched within the framework of the European Year 2012, will include several phases:

  • Measure air quality and thermal conditions in 20 elderly care centres in Porto and Lisbon;
  • Assess effects of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and thermal conditions on cardio respiratory health of 800 ECC residents (aged 65 years and older);
  • Evaluate the association of indoor air pollution in health-related quality of life of older persons;
  • Identify a subgroup of older persons particularly susceptible to adverse effects of air pollutants, thus posing the basis for preventive interventions.

The results of the project will be shared in the publication “Indoor air quality and ventilation guidelines for elderly care centres”, due to be presented in 2014-15.

The final recommendations will also focus on health care, quality of life, and household behaviours in elderly care centres.

Promotor: Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISP/UP)

The mission of the Institute of Public Health (ISPUP) is to contribute for the development, dissemination and application of new knowledge in public health domain, stimulating the research and training of excellence, to improve and protect human population health.

Contacto: João Paulo Teixeira: