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NUTRITIONAL STATUS AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH BODY COMPOSITION COMPARTMENTS IN PHYSICALLY INDEPENDENT, ELDERLY MEXICAN SUBJECTS

H. Alemán-Mateo, L. Tavano Colaizzi, A.B. Pérez-Lizaur

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2013;2(2):211-215

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess nutritional status by combining the mini nutritional assessment (MNA) and body mass index (BMI) and to explore the association between nutritional status categories and body composition compartments. Design: This is a cross-sectional study based on a non-randomized sample. Settings: Free-living, elderly people residing in community and in shelter homes. Participants: 245 physically independent adults over 60 years of age were evaluated. Measurements: Nutritional status was assessed by combining the MNA survey and BMI. Body composition was determined by a validated predictive equation. The relation between the categories of nutritional status and body composition, specifically fat mass, was tested by an ANOVA. Results: The prevalence of undernutrition on the MNA was 4.9%, and 31% of subjects had risk of undernutrition; while 40% and 32% by BMI were overweight and obese, respectively. The elderly with risk of undernutrition had significantly lower values for body weight, BMI, waist circumference, total body fat, FFM and arm circumference. Fat mass increased or decreased according to the associated nutritional status categories. Subjects with undernutrition according to the MNA had the lowest mean values for fat mass, which were significantly different from those found in elderly subjects classified as well-nourished, and in obese participants. Conclusions: This combination of methods allows a better understanding of alterations of nutritional status. The risks of undernutrition, overweight, and obesity were the most frequent problems. Due to its association, the fat mass compartment proved to be an effective means of identifying subjects at risk of undernutrition. Finally, intervention studies designed to improve the nutritional status of the elderly Mexican population are warranted.

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