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Open AccessArticle

What Are the Risk Factors for Malnutrition in Older-Aged Institutionalized Adults?

Department of Experimental Medicine—Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy
Institute of mental Health, Division of psychiatry and Psychology, School of Medicine, Nottingham University, Nottingham NG7 2QL, UK
Agenzia Nazionale per i Servizi Sanitari Regionali, 00100 Rome, Italy
Department of Translational and Precision Medicine, Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy
School of Life Sciences, Queen’s Medical Centre, The University of Nottingham Medical School, Nottingham NG/ 2QL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2857;
Received: 21 July 2020 / Revised: 28 August 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Older Persons' Health)
Malnutrition is common in older adults and is associated with functional impairment, reduced quality of life, and increased morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to explore the association between health (including depression), physical functioning, disability and cognitive decline, and risk of malnutrition. Participants were recruited from nursing homes in Italy and completed a detailed multidimensional geriatric evaluation. All the data analyses were completed using Stata Version 15.1. The study included 246 participants with an age range of 50 to 102 (80.4 ± 10.5). The sample was characterised by a high degree of cognitive and functional impairment, disability, and poor health and nutritional status (according to Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), 38.2% were at risk for malnutrition and 19.5% were malnourished). Using a stepwise linear regression model, age (B = −0.043, SE = 0.016, p = 0.010), depression (B = −0.133, SE = 0.052, p = 0.011), disability (B = 0.517, SE = 0.068, p < 0.001), and physical performance (B = −0.191, SE = 0.095, p = 0.045) remained significantly associated with the malnutrition risk in the final model (adjusted R-squared = 0.298). The logistic regression model incorporating age, depression, disability, and physical performance was found to have high discriminative accuracy (AUC = 0.747; 95%CI: 0.686 to 0.808) for predicting the risk of malnutrition. The results of the study confirm the need to assess nutritional status and to investigate the presence of risk factors associated with malnutrition in order to achieve effective prevention and plan a better intervention strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: malnutrition; elderly; nutritional status malnutrition; elderly; nutritional status
MDPI and ACS Style

Donini, L.M.; Stephan, B.C.M.; Rosano, A.; Molfino, A.; Poggiogalle, E.; Lenzi, A.; Siervo, M.; Muscaritoli, M. What Are the Risk Factors for Malnutrition in Older-Aged Institutionalized Adults? Nutrients 2020, 12, 2857.

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