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Public Health Nutr. 2016 Aug;19(12):2220-8. doi: 10.1017/S1368980016000434. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Health determinants of nutritional status in community-dwelling older population: the VERISAÚDE study.

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1Gerontology Research Group,Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences,Universidade da Coruña,Campus de Oza,E-15071 A Coruña,Spain.
2DICOMOSA Group,Department of Psychology,Area of Psychobiology,Edificio de Servicios Centrales de Investigación,Universidade da Coruña,A Coruña,Spain.



Malnutrition is a common and relevant syndrome in elderly people due to its influence on quality of life. The main aim of the present study was to identify health determinants of malnutrition or risk of malnutrition.


Cross-sectional study collecting information on sociodemographic and health factors (co-morbidity, cognitive or affective problems, prescription medication use, frailty status, self-rated health) as determinants of nutritional status, assessed by the short form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment.


Forty-three senior centres from Galicia (north-western Spain) participated to recruit participants.


A representative community-dwelling sample of 749 elderly people aged ≥65 years.


Of the total participants, 14·3 % were malnourished/at risk of malnutrition. Presence of overweight or obesity, depressive symptoms, polypharmacy (use of five or more prescription medications), presence of pre-frailty or frailty status and poor self-rated health showed the strongest relationship to malnutrition/risk of malnutrition. This model predicted 86·0 % of the cases correctly. The best determinants for women were polypharmacy and poor self-rated health, reaching 82·8 % of cases of malnourishment/risk of malnutrition predicted correctly. In men, the main determinants were overweight or obesity, depressive symptomatology and polypharmacy, with 89·8 % of cases of malnourishmen/risk of malnutrition predicted correctly.


Screening for nutritional status and its determinant factors should be included as part of comprehensive assessments to ensure an early screening of malnutrition and to propose possible intervention strategies that would be important for both elderly people and the health-care system.


Elderly; Malnutrition; Malnutrition risk; Mini Nutritional Assessment; Prevalence

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