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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;59(4):578-83.

Malnutrition and associated factors among aged residents in all nursing homes in Helsinki.

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The Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged, Malmin kauppatie 26, FIN-00700 Helsinki, Finland.



To acquire information about nutritional problems and factors associated with them in all nursing homes in Helsinki, Finland.


Descriptive, cross-sectional study. The residents were assessed by the Mini Nutritional Assessment test (MNA) and information was gathered about residents' backgrounds, functional status, diseases and about daily routines in institutions providing nutritional care.


All nursing homes in Helsinki community, the capital of Finland.


Of 2424 eligible subjects, 2114 (87%) aged residents, mean age 82 y, were examined.


One-third (29%) of the studied residents suffered from malnutrition (MNA < 17), and 60% were at risk (MNA 17-23.5). Malnutrition was associated with the female gender, a longer stay in the nursing home, functional impairment, dementia, stroke, constipation and difficulties in swallowing. In addition, eating less than half of the offered food portion, not eating snacks and resident's weight control at long intervals were associated with malnutrition. In logistic regression analysis mainly patient-related factors predicted malnutrition: impaired functioning (OR 3.71, 95% CI 2.76-4.99), swallowing difficulties (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.10-4.37), dementia (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.45-2.93), constipation (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.38-2.47), but also eating less than half of the offered food portion (OR 3.03, 95% CI 2.21-4.15).


Although internal factors explain most about the poor nutritional status of aged residents in nursing homes, the factors related to nutritional care need further investigation to clarify their role in maintaining the nutritional status of aged residents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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