Association between Nutritional Status Determined By Mini Nutritional Assessment and Serum Marker Levels in Older Adults at Eldercare Facilities

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Velasco-Rodríguez R
Mora-Brambila AB
Hilerio-López AG
Pérez-Hernández MG
Del Toro-Equihua M
Vasquez C

Abstract

Malnutrition in the older adult is an ongoing situation in Mexico and is most apparent in individuals that reside in hospitals, nursing homes, and retirement homes. For that reason, it is necessary to evaluate the nutritional status of these adults by means of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and levels of three serum indicators that are commonly ordered when making malnutrition diagnosis. An analytical cross-sectional study was carried out on 100 older adults residing in eldercare facilities. Nutritional status was evaluated by means of the MNA and three serum indicators (albumin, ferritin, and hemoglobin). Descriptive statistics were used to analyze sociodemographic characteristics, and a Student’s t test, based on gender and reference values, was used to compare mean values of the three serum indicators.  A Chi-square test was used to compare proportions in individuals, based on gender, who had normal nutritional status or were malnourished, and who were at-risk of malnutrition.  A One-way ANOVA with Scheffé post hoc test was used to identify the association between serum indicators and nutritional status of older adults. Of the 100 older adults studied, 53% were men and 47% were women. The mean age was 85±0.7 years. According to the MNA, 20% had normal nutritional status, 55% were at-risk of malnutrition, and 25% were malnourished. The mean indicator values were: albumin 4.7±0.04 g/dL, ferritin 74.2±8.7 ng/mL, and hemoglobin 13.0±0.1 g/dL. No significant association was found between serum indicators and each MNA classification; however, when the same indicators were compared between the sexes, hemoglobin showed a significant difference (P=0.037). Women had lower values but those values did not extend beyond the established physiological range for this population. There was a 55% prevalence of risk of malnutrition in the nutritional status of older adults living in Mexican eldercare facilities in a Mexican province and it was even more frequent in women. 

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Review Article