Validation of population-specific Mini-Nutritional Assessment with its long-term mortality-predicting ability: results of a population-based longitudinal 4-year study in Taiwan

Alan C Tsai, Shu-Fang Yang, Jiun-Yi Wang
British Journal of Nutrition 2010, 104 (1): 93-9
Nutrition is a key element in geriatric health, and nutritional screening/assessment is a key component of comprehensive geriatric evaluation. The study aimed to validate the Mini Nutritional Assessment Taiwan version-1 (MNA-T1) which adopted population-specific anthropometric cut-points, and version-2 (MNA-T2) which replaced BMI with mid-arm and calf circumferences in the scale for predicting the nutritional status of elderly Taiwanese. Using data of a population-representative longitudinal study of 2802 Taiwanese aged 65 years or older, the study graded the nutritional status of each subject with the original and both modified versions at baseline, analysed their hospital length of stay, the Activities of Daily Living (ADL), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and life-satisfaction scores at baseline and end of 4 years, and tracked their survival during the period. Results showed that both modified versions had superior predictive abilities compared with the original MNA, and their graded scores correlated better with hospital length of stay, and ADL, CES-D and life-satisfaction scores. Both modified versions were effective in predicting follow-up mortality risk. The relative mortality risk was about 7 times for those rated malnourished and 2.5 times for those rated at risk of malnutrition compared with those who were rated normal at baseline by the two modified versions. These results suggest that both of the modified versions are effective in predicting the nutrition and health statuses of Taiwanese elderly and would serve to validate the predictive ability of the two modified versions. The MNA-T2, which requires no BMI, can make routine nutritional screening/assessment an easier task.

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