Elderly Japanese emigrants to Brazil before World War II: I. Clinical profiles based on specific historical background

Mitsue Meguro, Kenichi Meguro, Paulo Caramelli, Junichi Ishizaki, Hideo Ambo, Rosa Y.S. Chubaci, Gerson S. Hamada, Ricardo Nitrini, Atsushi Yamadori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To search the demographic and clinical profiles of elderly Japanese emigrants, who arrived in Brazil before World War II, in order to give them appropriate psychogeriatric care. Design: Elderly Japanese immigrants aged 65 years and over, belonging to the Miyagi Association in the São Paulo Metropolitan Area, were targeted. They emigrated from Miyagi Prefecture of Brazil and are now living in the area. We were able to interview 166 respondents. All data were gathered using standardized interview methods covering (a) free interview about the immigration history, (b) demographics, and (c) physical status. Results: Through the free interview, we found their immigration histories, which affected their clinical profiles. The mean age and educational level were 77.5 years and 6.3 years, respectively. Sixty per cent of them immigrated when they were younger than 14. Ninety-four per cent of them still keep Japanese nationality. Fifty-seven per cent of them usually use Japanese, while 10% of them use Portuguese. Although their emigration histories were hard, 76% of them perceived their health as being excellent or relatively good. The percentage of subjects with histories of disease were hypertension, 52.5%; cardiac disease, 20.8%; diabetes mellitus, 24.2%; and hyperlipidemia, 25.0%, which were affected by the Brazilian environment. Conclusion: The elderly Japanese who emigrated to Brazil before World War II have a unique historical and demographic background. Their clinical profiles cannot be fully understood without knowing their histories. They definitely need high quality international psychogeriatric care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-774
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Brazil
  • Clinical profile
  • History
  • Immigration
  • Transcultural study


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