To assess the nutritional status among elderly and factors influencing it, in an urban area, Bengaluru - a cross sectional study

Ramya M. S., Ranganath T. S., Jyothi Jadhav, Swetha N. B.


Background: Elderly population is on raise globally and in India. Malnutrition in old age, significantly increases the susceptibility to infection, compromises the outcomes of other underlying conditions and diseases and hence increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. The malnourished elderly are more likely to require more hospitalizations, cause burden to caregivers and possess a huge economic cost to society. This facilitates the need for early detection of malnourishment among elderly by assessing the nutritional status as a part of geriatric evaluation therefore appropriate measures can be taken to overcome the malnourishment and associated complications. Hence this study attempts to assess the nutritional status and factors influencing it among elderly, in an urban area, Bengaluru.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 300 elderly population aged ≥60 years in an urban area, Bengaluru during April to August 2016.

Results: Among the study participants majority 182 (60.66%) were females and 64(21.33%) were malnourished. Nutritional status was found to worsen significantly with advancing age (χ²=42.12, P value <0.0001), Illiteracy (χ²=16.19, P value 0.0003), dependent financial status (χ²=16.45, P value 0.0003) and living arrangements without spouse and/or children (χ²= 14.17, P value 0.0278). Good awareness but low utilization levels of the old age social security scheme was noted among the study population.

Conclusions: Old age can only be protected, promoted and extended by adding quality to life. Geriatric nutritional status assessment helps to detect the malnourished and those at risk of malnutrition at an early stage, following which an early corrective interventions can improve their quality of life. 


Nutritional status, Elderly, Mini nutritional assessment scale

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