, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 426-431
Date: 15 Nov 2011

Malnutrition risk factors among the elderly from the Us-Mexico border: The “one thousand” study

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The Mexican population is aging, which makes the fact that there is no regional information on the health of the elderly, including those in the northern region of the country.


To examine nutritional, functional, and cognitive impairments, as well as depression, in non-institutionalized elderly Mexicans along Mexico’s northern border.


Observational, descriptive and cross-sectional study.

Participants & measurements

Demographic and anthropometric measurements were screened and the following scales were applied among 760 elderly individuals in Chihuahua, Mexico: Katz index (for activities of daily living, ADL), the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), the Yesavage (depression), and the Pffeifer (cognitive decline).


7% prevalence of malnutrition, a 18% prevalence of functional disability, a 44% prevalence of depressive symptoms, a 33% prevalence of cognitive impairment, and a risk of disease in almost half the population, without differences between genders. Malnutrition, functional disability, and cognitive impairment increased with age (P <0.001). Functional disability, depression, and cognitive impairment also increased the risk of malnutrition 3.0, 2.9 and 1.4 times (P <0.005). Other factors that may affect nutritional status included isolated living and illiteracy.


Levels of malnutrition, functional disability, depression and cognitive impairment are higher than those reported previously and are closely related to one another, so detecting alterations in primary care is important in order to improve quality of life and reduce complications.