Journal Article

Nutritional screening in a population-based cohort of community-dwelling older people

Irma Nykänen, Eija Lönnroos, Hannu Kautiainen, Raimo Sulkava and Sirpa Hartikainen

in The European Journal of Public Health

Published on behalf of European Journal of Public Health

Volume 23, issue 3, pages 405-409
Published in print June 2013 | ISSN: 1101-1262
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-360X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cks026
Nutritional screening in a population-based cohort of community-dwelling older people

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Economics of Health
  • Health, Illness, and Medicine

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Background: The risk of malnutrition is widely recognized in institutional settings but few studies have been conducted among community-dwelling older people. The objective of this study was to describe the nutritional status and factors associated with possible malnutrition among community-dwelling older people. Methods: A randomly selected sample (n = 696) of persons aged ≥75 years were included in the study. Baseline information was obtained for nutritional status (mini nutritional assessment short-form MNA-SF), depressive symptoms (15-item geriatric depression scale), cognitive status (mini-mental state examination MMSE) and daily activities (Barthel ADL index and Lawton and Brody IADL scale), self-reported health, oral health and medication use. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted to identify demographical, clinical and functional factors associated with possible malnutrition. Results: Of the 696 participants, 15% had possible malnutrition. In the univariate analysis, low MNA-SF scores were associated with advanced age, poor self-rated health, dry mouth/chewing problems, depressive symptoms and an increasing number of drugs in regular use. Higher albumin level, ADL, IADL and MMSE scores, and the ability to walk 400 m independently were inversely associated with possible malnutrition. In the multivariate analysis, dry mouth/chewing problems (OR 2.01, 95% CI: 1.14–3.54), IADL (OR 0.85, 95% CI: 0.75–0.96) and MMSE scores (OR 0.90, 95% 0.85–0.96) were independently associated with possible malnutrition. Conclusion: Being at risk of malnutrition was common among community-dwelling older people. Problems with mouth, IADL and cognitive impairments were linked to possible nutritional risks.

Journal Article.  3461 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Economics of Health ; Health, Illness, and Medicine

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