Introduction. Malnutrition is a frequent condition among the elderly. The present study aims to evaluate the risk of malnutrition in a sample of elderly patients affected by cognitive impairment but still living at home. Methods. From April to September 2005, all patients affected by cognitive disorders and consecutively admitted to the Memory Clinic of the Geriatric Section of the San Giovanni Battista Hospital of Torino, were asked to participate to the present observational study. At baseline, demographic data, past and recent clinical data and socio-economic status were collected. Cognitive, behaviour, and nutritional status were evaluated using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Results. The MNA total score was significantly related with age (p = 0.01), mean duration of dementia (p = 0.001), severity of cognitive (p = 0.001) and behaviour (p = 0.001) status. In particular, risk of malnutrition was related with delusions (p = 0.001), depression/dysphoria (p = 0.001), appetite/eating (p = 0.001), wandering (p = 0.001), agitation/aggression (p = 0.01). Discussion. The present study confirms that elderly patients with dementia present a risk of malnutrition that seems to be strictly related with patients' age and duration of disease. Moreover, malnutrition is related with severity of cognitive impairment and behavioural problems. The evaluation of nutritional status in elderly demented subjects could prevent and diagnose nutrition related problems.
|Translated title of the contribution||Risk of malnutrition in elderly patients affected by dementia and living independently|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Giornale di Gerontologia|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2011|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology