MALNUTRITION IN ELDERLY: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS

Mario Barbagallo, Giovanna Di Bella, Piombo, Neri, Proietti, Scardella, Cataldi, Asprino, Carcaterra, Cava, Cucinotta, Lorenzo M. Donini, Morrone

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Abstract

Abstract: Malnutrition occurs frequently in the frailest groups of the population, especially in people who are ona low income and elderly subjects, overall if they are institutionalized. The aim of this study was to assess theprevalence of malnutrition in a sample of elderly people living in different settings and to identify thedeterminants of malnutrition. Methods: A total of 718 subjects, 472 females (F) and 246 males (M), wererecruited from nursing homes or were free living in three different regions in Italy. Nutritional status, depression,social, functional and cognitive status, were evaluated. Results: According to the Mini Nutritional Assessment(MNA), a high prevalence of malnutrition was found out in both genders: 26% of F and 16.3% of M wereclassified as being malnourished (MNA<17); 40.9% of F and 35% of M were at risk of malnutrition (MNA 17-23,5). The prevalence of malnutrition was significantly higher in NH subjects in both sexes. Moreover, arelationship was shown between malnutrition and inability to shop, prepare and cook meals because of a lowincome, distance from markets or supermarkets as well as impossibility to drive the car or to use publictransportation. This study confirms the necessity to routinely perform nutritional status evaluation in elderlysubjects, to carry out training courses for health workers (doctors, nurses, psychologists, dietitians), to implementnutritional education of the geriatric population, to develop tools and guidelines for health workers andcaregivers, to identify and reduce clinical, functional, social or economic risk factors for malnutrition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalTHE JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, HEALTH &amp; AGING
Volume17
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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    Barbagallo, M., Di Bella, G., Piombo, Neri, Proietti, Scardella, Cataldi, Asprino, Carcaterra, Cava, Cucinotta, Donini, L. M., & Morrone (2013). MALNUTRITION IN ELDERLY: SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS. THE JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, HEALTH &amp; AGING, 17, 9-15.