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Nutritional status and associated factors on geriatric admission

  • Ingrid Poulsen
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • M Schroll
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 84-90
Publication/Series: Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer-Verlag France

Abstract english

Introduction: The proportion of elderly patients who are undernourished is high and undernutrition has serious health implications. No consensus exists regarding nutritional screening measurements suitable for elderly patients. There is a need to identify risk factors for undernutrition in elderly patients to enable prevention and treatment. Aim: To identify clinically identifiable risk factors for undernutrition in geriatric patients on admission. Methods: Newly admitted patients (n=196, mean age 83.7 years) were examined for nutritional risk factors by the nursing staff. Analyses of variance and multiple regression analyses were used to identify risk factors for undernutrition. Results: Undernutrition was present in 41% of the patients using a Body Mass Index cut-off <22 (kg/m(2)) as definition of undernutrition. Poor appetite, oral cavity problems, constipation and nausea or vomiting were frequent problems; the patients also used a high number of medical preparations, including preparations that induced nausea. No help with cooking before admission, poor appetite, oral cavity problems and high age were all significantly associated with undernutrition. Conclusion: To improve nursing care and to prevent undernutrition, it is recommended to routinely examine the patient's mouth and teeth on admission and to assess patients not only for their physical condition (appetite, oral health and nutritional status), but also for their living conditions e.g. help with cooking.


  • Nursing
  • Geriatric Clinic
  • elderly patients
  • nutritional status on admission
  • risk factors


  • ISSN: 1279-7707
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions