Nutritional status according to Mini Nutritional Assessment is related to functional status in geriatric patients—independent of health status

E Schrader, C Baumgärtel, H Gueldenzoph, P Stehle, W Uter, C C Sieber, D Volkert
Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 2014, 18 (3): 257-63

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between nutritional and functional status in acute geriatric patients including mobility and considering health status.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Hospital.

PARTICIPANTS: 205 geriatric patients (median age 82.0 (IQR: 80-86) years, 69.3% women).

MEASUREMENTS: Nutritional status was determined by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and patients were categorized as well-nourished (≥ 24 points), at risk of malnutrition (17-23.5 points) or as malnourished (< 17 points). Functional status was determined by Barthel Index (BI) and Timed 'Up and Go' Test (TUG) and related to MNA categories. Using binary multiple logistic regression the impact of nutritional status on functional status was examined, adjusted for health status.

RESULTS: 60.3% of the patients were at risk of malnutrition and 29.8% were malnourished. Ability to perform basic activities of daily living (ADL) decreased with declining nutritional status. The proportion of patients unable to perform the TUG increased with worsening of nutritional status (45.0% vs. 50.4% vs. 77.0%, p<0.01). After adjusting for age, gender, number of diagnoses, disease severity and cognitive function, a higher MNA score significantly lowered the risk of being dependent in ADL (OR 0.85, 95 % CI 0.77-0.94) and inability to perform the TUG (OR 0.90, 95 % CI 0.82-0.99).

CONCLUSION: Nutritional status according to MNA was related to ADL as well as to mobility in acute geriatric patients. This association remained after adjusting for health status.

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