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Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jul;50 Suppl 2:S16-24.

Longitudinal changes in iron and protein status of elderly Europeans. SENECA Investigators.

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  • 1Groupe Hosp. Charles Foix, Ivry sur Seine, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Describe the iron and protein status of European elderly people studied in 1993, together with changes observed in the previous four years.

DESIGN:

Two optional designs: (1) A transversal study from a randomly selected group of female and male elderly subjects born between 1913 and 1914. (2) A longitudinal study including base-line measurements in 1988/1989 in subjects born in 1913-1918, which were repeated and extended in 1993.

SETTING:

Nineteen towns in 12 European countries participated in the baseline study in 1988/ 1989. Eleven centres in nine countries completed the follow-up study in 1993, and two new towns joined in 1993. The study included blood sampling for analysis of markers of nutritional status.

RESULTS:

The mean haemoglobin (Hb) values during the follow-up study for the different town populations ranged from 142 to 159 g/l for men and from 129 to 146 g/l for women. Prevalences of anaemia, based on WHO criteria (Hb < 130 g/l for men, and Hb < 120 g/l for women), amounted to 6.0% and 5.0% for men and women, respectively, and were very close to the baseline prevalences of 5.6% and 5.5%. A small decrease in Hb was observed after 4y in men. The mean haematocrit (Hct) values for the different towns ranged from 42% to 48% in men and from 39% to 44% in women. For both sexes, a decrease in Hct was observed. White blood cell (WBC) counts and differentials were measured in the follow-up study only. Mean WBC counts ranged from 5.8 x 10(3)/microliter to 7.1 x 10(3)/microliter in men and from 5.6 x 10(3)/microliter to 6.7 x 10(3)/microliter in women. Mean lymphocyte counts ranged from 1.6 x 10(3)/microliter to 2.4 x 10(3)/microliter in men and from 1.7 x 10(3)/microliter to 2.3 x 10(3)/microliter in women and mean neutrophile counts ranged from 3.4 x 10(3)/microliter to 4.4 x 10(3)/microliter and from 3.1 x 10(3)/microliter to 4.0 x 10(3)/microliter, respectively. The mean serum albumin values for the different towns varied from 39.9 g/l to 43.2 g/l for men, and from 39.3 g/l to 42.4 g/l for women, quite similar to the baseline study. In 25 subjects (2.2%) only serum albumin level was below 35 g/l and five subjects (0.4%) had a serum albumin level below 30 g/l. No albumin changes were detected for either sex over the four year period. The group of survivors in the follow-up study had higher mean albumin concentrations at baseline than the group of subjects who had died between the baseline and the follow-up study.

CONCLUSION:

In this population of elderly subjects in their seventies, Hb, Hct and albumin showed little change over the 4 year follow-up period. The prevalence of anaemia and low serum albumin values was relatively low, which is indicative of a relatively good health.

PMID:
8841781
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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