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Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2013 Jan-Feb;59(1):40-7.

Nutritional status in the oldest elderly and associated factors.

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  • 1Postgraduate Program in Physical Education, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.



To verify factors associated with nutritional status in an oldest elderly communitydwelling population in Southern Brazil.


This cross-sectional epidemiological and household-based study involved all subjects (n = 134) aged > 80 years who were living in Antônio Carlos (Santa Catarina state, Brazil). Nutritional status was assessed by body mass index (BMI < 22.0 kg/m², underweight; BMI > 27.0 kg/m², overweight). Explanatory variables in the study were: gender (women/ men), literacy (knows how to write and read - yes/no), living conditions (lives alone/with company), cognitive function (normal/altered), eating difficulty (yes/no), medication use (none to two/three or more), morbidity (none to two/three or more diseases), alimentary pattern (adequate/inadequate), alcohol consumption (none to one day a week, two or more days a week), cigarette smoking (never/current or former smoker), physical activity level (< 150 min/week; > 150 min/week), and sitting time (< 4 hours/day; > 4 hours but < 6 hours/ day; > 6 hours/day).


Prevalence of underweight was 27.3% in men and 12.8% in women (p < 0.01), and was positively associated with altered cognitive function (OR: 3.52) and inversely related with greater medication use (OR: 0.34). Overweight affected 25.5% of men and 53.8% of women. It was negatively associated with illiteracy (OR: 0.12) and positively associated with female gender (OR: 2.58).


There are differences between men and women regarding nutritional status. The factors associated to nutritional status of the oldest elderly from Antônio Carlos are specific to the vulnerability condition (underweight and overweight).

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