Geriatrics in Brazil: A big country with big opportunities

Luiz E. Garcez-Leme, Mariana Deckers Leme, David V. Espino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Brazil has approximately 180 million inhabitants, of whom 15.2 million are aged 60 and older and 1.9 million are aged 80 and older. By 2025, the Brazilian elderly population is expected to grow to more than 32 million. Brazil has many problems related to its geographic and population size. Great distances between major cities, marked cultural and racial heterogeneity between the various geographic regions, high poverty levels, and decreasing family size all combine to put pressure on the medical and social services that can be made available to the elder population. Less than 500 Brazilian physicians are certified as geriatricians, translating into one geriatrician for every 37,000 elderly Brazilians. Beside 15 geriatric medicine residencies a larger number of fellowship programs exist, and these programs are in high demand, with more than 20 candidates per position, indicating new opportunities for growth in elder care. In addition, geriatric initiatives such as the annual elder vaccination program and the elder statute, recently approved by the Brazilian Congress, indicate that geriatric care in Brazil is entering a new era of growth and development. Although the challenges remain great, there are opportunities for Brazilian geriatrics and gerontology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2018-2022
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Brazil
  • Demograph
  • Elderly
  • Geriatrics
  • Health policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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