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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-16

Evaluation of Nutritional Status in Elderly Patients attending a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India

1 Junior Resident, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-29, India
2 Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Madras Medical College, Chennai-3, India
3 Retired Professor & Head, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Madras Medical College, Chennai-3, India

Correspondence Address:
G Usha
Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Rajiv Gandhi Govt. General Hospital & Madras Medical College, Chennai — 3
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Malnutrition is often overseen and not considered in a treatment program for the elderly patient. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of malnutrition among elderly patients attending the out-patient department of a tertiary care hospital. Methodology: A Cross-sectional study was done to assess the nutritional status of 1000 elderly patients (≥65 years) attending the Geriatric medicine out-patient department in a tertiary care hospital in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India between May and July 2011. The subjects were interviewed using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) Questionnaire. The results were tabulated and analysed. Results: According to the MNA score, the prevalence of malnutrition in elderly patients was 31.3%, those at risk of malnutrition was 54.8% and those normally nourished was 13.9%. The mean MNA-Short Form (screening) score was 8.7±2.3 (2-14) and the mean Total Assessment score was 17.8±3.3 (6-26). The correlations between the total MNA score and the anthropometric variables— BMI (r=0.438, p<0.001), mid-arm circumference (r=0.388, p<0.001) and calf circumference (r=0.408, p<0.001) were all significant. The sensitivity and specificity of the MNA was 93% and 68% respectively. The results of the study also showed that older age and being a woman were associated with lower MNA scores. Conclusion: More than 85% of the elderly patients are either at risk or malnourished. The focus should be to evaluate the nutritional status of the elderly at their very first approach to medical help to improve their ability to overcome disease and enhance their clinical outcome.

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