Cognition and nutritional status. Relationship between cognitive function and nutritional status in community-living elderly men and women
AuthorSundsvold, Karoline Hensrud
Background: Elderly persons are at increased risk of both malnutrition and cognitive impairment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between nutritional status and cognitive function in elderly persons living at home. Methods: This population based cross-sectional study included 863 women and 594 men aged 65 years and older. Cognitive performance was measured by use of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Nutritional status was assessed by The Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and body mass index (BMI), categorised into six groups (< 20.0, 20.0 - 22.4, 22.5 - 24.9, 25.0 - 27.4, 27.5 - 29.9, > 30.0 kg/m2). Results: Medium/high risk of malnutrition was found in 6.7% of the participants, 3.2% of the men and 9.2% of the women (p<0.05). There was no difference in the MMSE sum-scores between men and women. The MMSE sum-scores (median) were similar across the various BMI categories (p-value men = 0.52, p-value women = 0.09). No significant difference in median MMSE sum-score was found between low and medium/high risk categories of malnutrition. In a logistic regression model the MMSE sum-score was associated with the risk of malnutrition, adjusted for age, sex and educational level. The risk of malnutrition with decreasing MMSE sum-score (per unit), was borderline significant, OR 1.10 (95% CI 1.00 – 1.20). Conclusions: Reduced cognitive function was associated with the risk of malnutrition in community living elderly men and women. The association is relatively weak, but the results indicate that nutritional status should be assessed in elderly persons with cognitive decline. Furthermore, mild cognitive impairment may contribute to increased risk of malnutrition.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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