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J Nutr Elder. 2009 Jan-Mar;28(1):47-60. doi: 10.1080/01639360802633979.

Nutritional and functional status indicators in residents of a long-term care facility.

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School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.


In a cross-sectional study, we determined whether results from the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and Katz Activities of Daily Living (ADL), were associated with nutritional status and mobility in long-term care residents. One hundred and fifteen study participants (mean [SD] age: 80.2 [10.6]) provided informed consent. Fifty eight percent (n = 66) responded to all three questionnaires: 12 were assessed as malnourished (MNA < 17) and 28 were depressed (GDS >or = 6). Higher levels of depression were associated with lower serum zinc (n = 71, r = -.356, p = .001) and associated with a slower Timed Up and Go test (TUG, n = 38, r = .301, p = .030). MNA was also associated with serum zinc (n = 44, r = .307, P = .021). Non responders to questionnaires (n = 36) had a lower BMI (mean difference: -2.5 +/- 1.0 kg/m(2), p = .013) and serum 25(OH)D (-8.7 +/- 3.8 nmol/l, p = .023) vs. responders. The GDS, in addition to the MNA, is useful in identifying poor nutritional status in residential care. Intervention programs that target depression and poor nutritional status could potentially improve overall quality of life, but it is not clear if depression is leading to poor nutritional status or if poor nutrition is leading to depression.

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