JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nutritional risk in institutionalized older women determined by the Mini Nutritional Assessment test: what are the main factors?

M Dolores Ruiz-López, Reyes Artacho, Patricio Oliva, Rosario Moreno-Torres, Jorge Bolaños, Carlos de Teresa, M Carmen López
Nutrition 2003, 19 (9): 767-71
12921887

OBJECTIVES: We assessed which factors contribute to the high level of nutritional risk detected by the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) test in institutionalized older women. To this end, we undertook a complete nutritional assessment.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study in 89 older women (age range, 72-98 y) living in two private nursing homes in Granada (Spain) was carried out. The MNA test was used as an assessment tool to detect nutritional risk. The nutritional assessment included anthropometric measurements (body mass index, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses, and mid-arm and calf circumferences), quantification of dietary intake (7-d weighed-food records), clinical and functional evaluations (number of drugs, Katz index, and Red Cross cognitive scale), and biological markers (albumin, prealbumin, transferrin, and lymphocyte counts).

RESULTS: We found that 7.9% (n = 5) of the older women were malnourished (MNA score, 14.5 +/- 1.4), 61.8% (n = 56) were at risk of malnutrition (MNA score, 20.6 +/- 2.1), and 30.3% (n = 28) were well nourished (MNA score, 25.0 +/- 1.1) according to the MNA test.

CONCLUSIONS: This high prevalence of risk of malnutrition detected by the MNA test in healthy institutionalized older women was due mainly to risk situations and self-perception of health and did not depend on age. Inadequate micronutrients intake may contribute to the development of malnutrition in this population.

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