Nutritional status and dysphagia risk among community-dwelling frail older adults
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Although the presence of dysphagia is a key determinant of nutritional status among older adults, few studies have focused on the association between malnutrition and dysphagia risk in community-dwelling frail older adults. This study estimated the prevalence of malnutrition and quantified the association between malnutrition and dysphagia risk among community-dwelling older Japanese adults requiring long-term care.
This study was conducted with the cooperation of the Japan Dental Association and local dental associations in all 47 prefectures from January to February 2012.
Individuals aged ≥65 years capable of oral nutrient intake who were living at home and receiving home dental care and treatment.
Individual demographic characteristics and factors associated with health loss-related functional decline were obtained through interviews by home-visit dentists and self-administered questionnaires. Nutritional status and dysphagia risk were evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form and the Dysphagia Risk Assessment for the Community-dwelling Elderly.
Among 874 respondents (345 men and 529 women), 24.6% were malnourished, 67.4% were at risk of malnutrition, and 8.0% were well nourished. Dysphagia risk was related to an increased likelihood of malnutrition at an old age, even after adjusting for covariates (PR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.01–1.67).
Malnutrition is highly prevalent among community-dwelling frail older adults, and dysphagia risk is independently associated with malnutrition. Dysphagia may be an important predictor of malnutrition progression in aged populations.
Key wordsOlder adults nutritional status dysphagia community-dwelling
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