Nutritional status and associated comorbidities among the elderly in Doiwala block, Dehradun
Background: Ageing is an irreversible biological process which starts from conception and ends after death. Elderly population is at risk of under nutrition due to physical, cognitive as well as functional decline. Increasing ill health and increasing disability are linked with nutritional risk indicators. Nutritional deficiencies in geriatric age group are common and often subclinical thus escaping the desired interventions. Hence, this study was undertaken to collect information on nutritional status and associated comorbidities of this population. Aims & Objectives: 1.To assess the nutritional status and associated morbidities among the elderly. 2. To suggest appropriate measures to improve their health. Material methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the elderly people in the field practice area of Rural Health Training Centre (RHTC), HIMS, Dehradun for a period of 3 months. A total of 192 individuals of ≥60 years were interviewed. Pre-structured Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) questionnaire was used. Data are presented as mean values and standard deviations and significance level chosen at p < 0.05. Result: Out of total 192 elderly (≥60 years) interviewed, 48.4% were males and 51.6% were females. The mean weight (Kg) was 54.65 ± 13.44 (25-94) and mean BMI (Kg/m2) was 22.30 ± 5.08 (12.57-44.64).According to MNA there were 20.83 % malnourished and 43.7 % were at risk of malnutrition and this was positively associated with age (p – 0.004) and female gender (p – 0.0001). According to MNA-SF (MNA short form), 17.2 % were malnourished while 45.3% were at risk of malnutrition and followed the same pattern of age and sex as in MNA. BMI analysis showed that 21.8% were malnourished, 15.4% were overweight and 7.4% were obese. Comorbidities were found to be more in malnourished group as compared to the well-nourished. Conclusion: Due to the high prevalence of elderly who were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, a more detailed evaluation, regular follow up & dietary intervention to reverse the situation is required.