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Aging (Milano). 1995 Feb;7(1):67-74.

Relationships between macronutrient intake, handicaps, and cognitive impairments in free living elderly people.

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  • 1Service de Médecine Interne, Hôpital de Hautepierre, Strasbourg, France.


It is still unknown what if any relationships exist between intake of macronutrients by the elderly, and their functional or cognitive handicaps, particularly for free living elderly people. We investigated 226 men and 215 women, aged 65 or more, free living and in good health. They were randomly selected in the département of Bas-Rhin, after stratification for age, sex and residence (rural or urban). Handicaps and cognitive functions of each subject were assessed with the Géronte scale and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), respectively. Food intake was measured by a three-day record. A multiple correspondence analysis concluded that functional parameters and macronutrient intakes were rather independent. The relationships found were detailed by a backward stepwise logistic regression. In men, alcohol intake was associated with an improvement in functional and cognitive parameters, and polyunsaturated fatty acids with the capacity to move outside the home. In women, lipid intake increased the MMSE score. Overweight in women was linked with better functional and cognitive performances, and in men with the capacity to move outside the home. In both sexes, age worsened the score of functional and cognitive parameters. In conclusion, macronutrient intakes and functional or cognitive parameters were found to be mutually independent; this suggests that macronutrient deficiencies are of little importance in the worsening functional or mental autonomy of the elderly. The relationships found between functional variables and alcohol or polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes in men, and lipid intakes in women, and overweight in both sexes might evidence a better state of health.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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