Assessment of nutritional status and functional ability in the elderly
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Chair and Department of Health Prevention, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Chair and Clinic of Palliative Medicine, University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
Magdalena Strugała   

Chair and Department of Health Prevention, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Med Og Nauk Zdr. 2019;25(4):274–281
Introduction and objective:
The incidence of problems related with nutrition disorders and decrease of functional activity among the elderly are often an important element of their disability. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between the nutritional status and functional fitness of aselected population of elderly people.

Material and methods:
The cross-sectional study comprised 412 elderly persons, including 318 females (77%). The mean age of the study group was 75.8 years±7.6. Within the entire group an analysis of correlation between nutritional status and functional ability was performed, assessed according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) scale, as well as social and demographic parameters, health condition (number of chronic diseases, drugs taken) and the functional independence exponents. To identify factors significantly affecting the risk of malnutrition, the logistic regression model was used. Results obtained were presented as odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. A stepwise multiple logistic regression with backward elimination was also performed.

Results The normal nutritional status (MNA 23–30 point), good mental status (MMSE 24–30), no risk of depression (GDS – 0–5 points), risk of falls (TUG – less than 14 seconds) and correct functional capability (Barthel index 86–100; IADL – 27), were determined in 253 (61.4%) respondents. Multi-parameter analysis proved that the independent determinants of nutrition status were: risk of depression (p<0.001), risk of falling (p<0.01), cognitive ability (p<0.05) and education (p<0.05).

Conclusions Incorrect nutritional status can be both a consequence and cause of disability. Due to the determined correlation between nutritional status and the components of functional fitness, the existence of irregularities in the area of any element should necessitate the conduction of screening tests to determine nutritional status.

MNA – Mini Nutritional Assessment scale; MMSE – Mini Mental State Examination; Barthel Index – Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living; IADL – Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale; GDS – Geriatric Depression Scale; TUG – Time Up and Go.
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