BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Mini nutritional assessment (MNA) is the most frequently used screening test for malnutrition in elderly populations in continental Europe and Asia. Most studies on MNA's ability to predict mortality have only included persons admitted to hospital, living in nursing homes or at home with professional help with activities of daily living. The aim of this cohort study was to examine if MNA can predict 10-year mortality in the general elderly female population.
SUBJECTS/METHODS: Of the 584 free-living elderly women invited, 351 agreed to participate and were tested with MNA between 1999 and 2000. A 10-year follow-up was conducted in 2010 with dates of death obtained from the Swedish death register.
RESULTS: Participants whose MNA score was ≤ 23.5 points at inclusion had a significantly higher age-adjusted 10-year mortality risk than participants with a MNA score of >23.5 points. The hazard ratio was 2.36 (95% confidence interval 1.25-4.46), P <0.01.
CONCLUSIONS: Participants with a MNA score, indicating an increased risk for malnutrition, were more than twice as likely to die during the 10-year follow-up as participants whose MNA score indicated normal nutritional status. Hence, MNA can predict mortality in a general, free-living, elderly female population.
2012. Vol. 66, no 9