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Age as a determinant of nutritional status: A cross sectional study

Forster, S. and Gariballa, S. (2005) Age as a determinant of nutritional status: A cross sectional study. Nutrition Journal, 441 (28). ISSN 1475-2891


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Undenutrition is known to be prevalent and largely unrecognised in older patients; however, aberrations in indicators of nutritional status may simply reflect effects of age and/or functional disability.


The aim of this study was to measure the effect, if any of age on nutritional status in older patients.


445 randomly selected hospitalised patients consented to nutritional status assessment derived from anthropometric, haematological, and biochemical data within 72 hours of admission. Nutritional status was compared between those age < 75 years and those aged 75 years or more. Using multiple regression models, we measured the association between age and nutritional assessment variables after adjusting for disability, chronic illness, medications, smoking and tissue inflammation.


Body weight, body mass index, mid-upper arm circumference, haemoglobin, serum albumin and plasma ascorbic acid were all significantly lower in people aged ≥ 75 years compared with those < 75 years of age. Although riboflavin (vitamin B2), 25OH VitD3, red-cell folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were lower in those aged ≥ 75 years, differences were not statistically significant. After adjusting for disability and co-morbidity in a multivariate analysis, age alone had a significant and independent effect on important anthropometric and biochemical nutritional assessment variables.


Increasing age is independently associated with poor nutritional status. This may partly explain the poor clinical outcome in older patients.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2005 Forster and Gariballa; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Medicine (Sheffield) > Clinical Sciences Division North (Sheffield) > Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing
The University of Sheffield > University of Sheffield Research Centres and Institutes > Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2014 04:36
Published Version: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/4/1/28
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1186/1475-2891-4-28
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1080

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