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Open AccessArticle

Dietary Patterns and Their Relationship with Frailty in Functionally Independent Older Adults

Unidad de Investigación de Atención Primaria-OSIs Gipuzkoa, Osakidetza, 20014 San Sebastián, Spain
Red de Investigación en Servicios de Salud en Enfermedades Crónicas (REDISSEC), 48902 Barakaldo, Spain
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Biodonostia, 20014 San Sebastián, Spain
Kronikgune- Centro de Investigación en Cronicidad, 48902 Barakaldo, Spain
Centro de salud de Beraun, Osakidetza, 20100 Rentería, Spain
Centro de salud de Alza, Osakidetza, 20017 San Sebastián, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 406;
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Ageing)
The impact of dietary patterns rather than single foods or nutrients on health outcomes is increasingly recognized. This cross-sectional study examines the dietary patterns of 527 non-institutionalized functionally independent older people aged ≥70 years from Gipuzkoa (Spain). Sociodemographic characteristics, health status, anthropometric measures and dietary data are collected. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and cluster analysis are performed to identify dietary patterns and groups of individuals. Frequency of selected food items and compliance with food recommendations are included in the MCA. A high proportion of the sample population are overweight or obese, whereas only 3.3% are at risk of malnutrition (determined with the Mini Nutritional Assessment). Frail individuals (n = 130), measured with the Timed-Up and Go test are older, have a lower educational level, are more obese, present a poorer health status (more depressive symptoms, polypharmacy and falls, among others) and worse compliance with food recommendations than robust individuals (n = 392). Three groups of individuals are identified: cluster one (n = 285), cluster two (n = 194) and cluster three (n = 48). A gradient of increasing frailty and poorer health status is observed from cluster one to cluster three. The latter also shows the poorest dietary pattern, regarding dietary recommendations. The use of an easy-to-use tool to assess diet allows detection of differences among the three clusters. There is a need to increase awareness on the implementation of nutritional screening and a subsequent dietary assessment in primary care settings to provide nutritional care to elder, and moreover, frail individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; diet; frailty; older adults nutrition; diet; frailty; older adults
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Machón, M.; Mateo-Abad, M.; Vrotsou, K.; Zupiria, X.; Güell, C.; Rico, L.; Vergara, I. Dietary Patterns and Their Relationship with Frailty in Functionally Independent Older Adults. Nutrients 2018, 10, 406.

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