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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Nutrition as a Health Determinant in Elderly Patients

Author(s): Tecla Mastronuzzi and Ignazio Grattagliano*

Volume 26, Issue 19, 2019

Page: [3652 - 3661] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170523125806

Price: $65


Background: 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.

Methods: A structured search of literature on the major databases was performed using terms as nutrition, elderly and malnutrition.

Results: According to most referenced articles, it appears to be unquestionable that both organic and social risk factors [economic hardship, loneliness, institutionalization] are important as determining causes of protein-caloric malnutrition. 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. The maintenance of the nutritional status is the best measure to counteract the risk of proteincaloric malnutrition and its complications which often sneakily affects elderly population and in particular frail patients.

Conclusion: 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 are discussed as a promising strategy.

Keywords: Elderly, malnutrition, mini nutritional assessment, nutritional intervention, prognostic nutritional index, geriatric nutritional risk index.

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