In older adults, fall-related injury is a serious public health problem. Nutrition inadequacy and falls are both frequently identified in the elderly; however, nutrition status of older adult fallers is not routinely assessed. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between nutrition status and falls among older adults. A retrospective convenience sample of 28 community-living older adults, age 65 or more was recruited from seven senior centers. Participants were men and women aged 80 ± 6.6 years. All subjects were interviewed regarding the occurrence of falls in the last year, and nutritional status was measured using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF). As classified by the MNA-SF, 50% of participants (n= 14) were “at risk” of malnutrition, and 3.6% (n=1) were identified as malnourished. Correlation analyses indicated a significant association between the number of falls sustained by subjects and their nutrition assessment score (r² = 0.33, p < 0.001). An increase in number of falls correlated with a decrease in the MNA-SF score. The majority of older adult fallers in this pilot study were either malnourished or “at risk” of being malnourished. These findings suggest routine nutrition screening of older adults may be a fall prevention strategy. Further investigation is indicated to assess the benefits of nutritional intervention among older adult fallers.
|Keywords:||Nutrition Status, Older Adults, Elderly, Fallers|
Graduate Student, Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA
Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA
Lecturer and Associate Director, Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging and Division of Heal Professionals College of Applied Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA