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Mini Nutritional Assessment of rural elderly people in Bangladesh: the impact of demographic, socio-economic and health factors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.
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2006 (English)In: Public Health Nutrition, ISSN 1368-9800, E-ISSN 1475-2727, Vol. 9, no 8, 968-974 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: In stating the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations aims to halve malnutrition around the world by 2015. Nutritional status of the elderly population in low-income countries is seldom focused upon. The present study aimed to evaluate the magnitude of malnutrition among an elderly population in rural Bangladesh.

Design and setting: Data collection for a multidimensional cross-sectional study of community-based elderly people aged 60 years and over was conducted in a rural area in Bangladesh.

Subjects: Of 850 randomly selected elderly individuals, 625 participated in home interviews. Complete nutritional information was available for 457 individuals (mean age 69 +/- 8 years, 55% female). Nutritional status was assessed using an adapted form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) including body mass index (BMI). Age, sex, education, household expenditure on food and self-reported health problems were investigated as potential predictors of nutritional status.

Results: BMI < 18.5 kg m(-2), indicating chronic energy deficiency, was found in 50% of the population. MNA revealed a prevalence of 26% for protein-energy malnutrition and 62% for risk of malnutrition. Health problems rather than age had a negative impact on nutritional status. Level of education and food expenditure were directly associated with nutritional status.

Conclusion: In order to reduce world hunger by half in the coming decade, it is important to recognise that a substantial proportion of the elderly population, particularly in low-income countries, is undernourished.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 9, no 8, 968-974 p.
Keyword [en]
Mini Nutritional Assessment, malnutrition, elderly, Bangladesh
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-11016DOI: 10.1017/PHN2006990ISI: 000242218200005PubMedID: 17125558OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-11016DiVA: diva2:38784
Available from: 2007-05-10 Created: 2007-05-10 Last updated: 2011-05-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Determinants and Functional Impact of Nutritional Status Among Older Persons in Rural Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Determinants and Functional Impact of Nutritional Status Among Older Persons in Rural Bangladesh
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Malnutrition is a major problem in Bangladesh. One third of the population in Bangladesh is malnourished, but figures for older persons specifically are scant.

Aims: This thesis describes the nutritional status of individuals aged 60+ years, living in a rural community in Bangladesh, with particular focus on the impact of demographic, health and social factors on nutritional status. A main aim is to examine the magnitude of malnutrition in this population. Second, the thesis focuses on the impact of demographic, health and social factors on nutritional status. Third, this thesis also aims to investigate the influence of nutritional status on functional abilities.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of people aged 60+ years was conducted in Matlab, a rural area in Bangladesh during 2003-2004. Data were obtained through home interviews, clinical examination and cognitive tests. Nutritional status was assessed using a modified form of the Mini Nutritional Assessment. Physical function was measured by self-reported and performance-based instruments. Cognitive function was assessed using general and specific cognitive tasks. A total of 850 individuals were randomly selected for the purpose of the study, of which 625 participated in the home interviews and 473 underwent clinical examinations and cognitive tests. Information on complete nutritional status was available for 457 individuals.

Results: About 26% of older people living in a rural community in Bangladesh were malnourished and 62% were at risk of malnutrition (Studies I-IV). Self-reported health problems (Study I), physician’s diagnoses (Study II), food expenditure (Study I), literacy (Studies I, II), personal income (Study II), female gender (Studies I, II) and financial support (Study II) were significantly associated with nutritional status. Health indicators accounted for the largest variations in nutritional status compared to demographic and socio-economic indicators (Studies I, II). Nutritional status was directly associated with self-reported and performance-based physical functions (Study III), as well as general and specific cognitive functions (Study IV).

Conclusion: In low income countries, nutritional status of older persons needs to be addressed both from a health and a socio-economic perspective. Good nutritional status is essential for older persons to be functionally active, both physically and cognitively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 78 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 473
Nutritional status, Mini Nutritional Assessment, older persons, community living, poverty, physical function, cognitive function, low-income country, Bangladesh.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107369 (URN)978-91-554-7579-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-09-22, The Auditorium, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, S-753 10 Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2009-09-01 Created: 2009-08-08 Last updated: 2009-09-01Bibliographically approved

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