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A COMPARISON OF ANTHROPOMETRICS, BIOCHEMICAL VARIABLES AND NUTRIENT INTAKE BETWEEN YOUNG AND ELDERLY RURAL PAKISTANI MEN

I. Alam, A. Larbi, G. Pawelec, P. Iqbal Paracha

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(2):116-124

Aging health is associated with nutritional changes which are not well understood or investigated in developing countries, and were therefore evaluated in this study by comparing the nutritional status of elderly with young subjects in Peshawar, Pakistan. Subjects: The participants in this study were young and elderly men (n=50 each), represented by each of the four BMI categories (obese, overweight, normal weight, underweight). Methods: Anthropometrics (height, weight, body mass index (BMI), percent body fat (%BF) were measured; nutrient intake was assessed by 24 hr Dietary Recall (24-hr DR); clinical chemistry variables (albumin, total protein, triglycerides, CRP, ferritin) in plasma were analyzed on a Modular Analytics SWA automated analyzer. Results: Our results show no significant differences in mean weight, waist circumference (WC) and waist to hip ratio (WHR) between young and elderly (p ≥0.005). Mean %BF of elderly was significantly (p=0.02) higher than young. Of the sample, 10% and 34%, respectively, of the elderly fall either in high risk categories of WC (HR-WC) or WHR (HR-WHR). Intake of almost all nutrients studied was significantly higher in young compared to elderly (p <0.005). There were differences in plasma factors but only the mean plasma CRP level was significantly higher in the elderly (p=0.0376). With increasing age, there was a significant increase in % BF and CRP (p=0.0160 and 0.0222, respectively) but decrease in energy intake (p= 0.0001). BMI decreased with age but not significantly (p=0.5821). Conclusions: The elderly had relatively poor nutritional status as compared to the young. Great variations existed in WC, WHR, %BF and nutrient intake within different BMI categories of young and elderly. These results suggest almost the same poor nutritional status of elderly as reported in most developed and developing countries.

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