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Up to one in six older people living at home face malnutrition risk
Date:5/7/2009

example,19 per cent versus 10.5 per cent at baseline, 11 per cent versus nine per cent at the first follow-up and 17 per cent versus 15.5 per cent at the second follow-up.

  • Three-quarters of women in the at-risk group (75 per cent) described themselves as unhealthy compared with 44 per cent of the women who were not at risk. The figures for the men were 63 per cent and 38 per cent. Men and women in the at-risk groups were more likely to be registered with a doctor.

  • Women in the at risk group were more likely to live alone than women in the no risk group (63.5 per cent versus 50 per cent) but the difference in the men's group was less marked (19 per cent versus 17 per cent).

  • Women in the at-risk group were more likely to be unsatisfied with contact with others (42 per cent) than women in the no risk group (16 per cent). The difference between the two male groups was less marked (25 per cent and 28 per cent).

  • Men and women in the at-risk groups had lower handgrip strength than people in the no risk group.

  • The risk of malnutrition was also higher in people who showed symptoms of depression. This was particularly apparent among men.

    "We hope that the findings of our study will be of use to health professionals working with older people" concludes Yvonne Johansson. "They clearly show that people who feel their health is poor and show symptoms of depression face a higher risk of developing malnutrition and that the risk gets higher as people get older.

    "Our population is ageing and it is vital to ensure that health professionals are looking after their nutritional health as well as caring for any medical conditions they may have. This study provides evidence of some of the key warning signs to look out for."


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  • Contact: Annette Whibley
    wizard.media@virgin.net
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

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