Current Medicinal Chemistry

Atta-ur-Rahman, FRS
Honorary Life Fellow
Kings College
University of Cambridge
Cambridge
UK

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Nutrition as a Health Determinant in Elderly Patients

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Tecla Mastronuzzi, Ignazio Grattagliano.

Abstract:

An adequate caloric intake is a major determinant for the health status especially when degenerative conditions become a predominant risk for difficult-to-treat diseases as in aging. The maintenance of the nutritional status is the best measure to counteract the risk of protein-caloric malnutrition and its complications which often sneakily affects elderly population and in particular frail patients. Both organic and social risk factors [economic hardship, loneliness, institutionalization] are important as determining causes. Some anthropometric, clinical and laboratory parameters can help to make diagnosis and quantify malnutrition. However, most of them are not cheap or are not simple to perform especially in the setting of General Practice. The application of a simple questionnaire [Mini Nutritional Assessment, MNA] allows to obtain in a fast, easy and non-invasive way a valid assessment of the nutritional status in geriatric patients. This review, based on updated concepts, examines all the above mentioned points together with some aspects associated with malnutrition as an indicator of disease severity and health costs in the elderly population. Finally, the impact of nutritional intervention and nutrients supplementation on general indices of malnutrition has been discussed as a promising strategy.

Keywords: Elderly, Malnutrition, Mini nutritional assessment, nutritional intervention.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 24
Year: 2017
(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170523125806
Price: $95