Determinants of Malnutrition in Older Adults
Kompass Nutrition & Dietetics
<b>Background:</b> The number of older adults is increasing rapidly. Malnutrition is a major problem in this age group, which may adversely affect health and quality of life. Several physiological, socioeconomic, and neuropsychological factors can lead to malnutrition. <b>Objectives:</b> The aim of this study was to evaluate the nutritional status of community-dwelling older adults, and explore the associations of malnutrition risk with physiological, socioeconomic, and neuropsychological
... psychological characteristics. <b>Methods:</b> This study is part of the Hellenic Longitudinal Investigation of Aging and Diet study, a cross-sectional observational study in Greece, and study participants were 1831 urban-dwelling elderly individuals (mean age: 73.1 ± 5.9 y; 40.8% men). Risk for malnutrition was assessed with the Determine Your Nutritional Health checklist. Data on age, sex, level of education, marital status, depression, cognitive performance, body mass index, total energy intake, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet were recorded. Correlations and multivariate analyses were performed between these variables and risk for malnutrition. <b>Results:</b> The estimated prevalence of moderate and high nutritional risks was 34.8% and 29.4%, respectively. Risk for malnutrition was associated with marital status (unmarried), increased body mass index, male sex, lower level of education, lower cognitive performance, and lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet (P < 0.05). <b>Conclusions:</b> Nutritional screening should be performed frequently in all community-dwelling older adults. Health experts should perform nutritional screening in all community-dwelling older adults as part of secondary prevention, and nutrition counselling and support should be offered in those at risk for malnutrition.