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Acta Portuguesa de Nutrição

On-line version ISSN 2183-5985


BERNARDO, Soraya  and  AMARAL, Teresa F. Coexistence of Undernutrition with Sarcopenia among Older Adults in Paços De Ferreira. Acta Port Nutr [online]. 2016, n.5, pp.12-16. ISSN 2183-5985.

Introduction: Older adults are particularly susceptible to changes in nutritional status, including the development of undernutrition and sarcopenia, which are associated with worse health status. Because elders can develop these conditions in a community environment, knowledge of the extent of this problem is of the utmost importance. Objectives: To know the frequency of undernutrition and to quantify the coexistence with sarcopenia and sarcopenic obesity in community dwelling older adults. Methodology: A cross sectional study was performed in older adults attending day centers. Nutritional status was evaluated through the Mini Nutritional Assessment and anthropometry (weight, height, arm and germinal girts and triceps skinfold). Functional capacity was quantified by assessment of hand grip strength and gait speed. The sarcopenia was identified according to the criteria of the European Consensus of Definition and Diagnosis of Sarcopenia. When participants simultaneously presented obesity (identified by BMI), they were classified as presenting sarcopenic obesity. The association between the studied variables and sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity and undernutrition was quantified by calculating the odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Logistic regression models were conducted to analyze the association between undernutrition and sarcopenia, adjusted for sex and age. Results: Three hundred and thirty seven older adults were evaluated, from which 2.1% were undernourished, 31.8% were at risk of undernutrition, 51.7% were obese and 15.1% had sarcopenia. From the sarcopenic group, 3.9% were undernourished and 41.2% were at risk of undernutrition. Of the older people identified with sarcopenic obesity, 37.5% were at risk of undernutrition. The presence of sarcopenia, after adjusting for gender and age, was shown to be associated with increased likelihood of undernutrition. Conclusions: Undernutrition risk, sarcopenia and obesity were highly prevalent conditions, which coexist in a significant proportion of older adults. From those with sarcopenic obesity 37.5% were simultaneously at risk of undernutrition.

Keywords : Undernutrition; Elderly; Sarcopenic obesity; Undernutrition risk; Sarcopenia.

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