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Depressive symptoms and risk for malnutrition among hospitalized elderly people

Depressive symptoms and risk for malnutrition among hospitalized elderly people

Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 12(5): 313-318

Objectives: To explore the association between depressive symptoms and risk for malnutrition in hospitalized elderly people.Methods: 195 hospitalized medical patients older than 65 years of age were studied in a cross-sectional design. Depression was assessed by 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), nutritional status was evaluated by the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Eating and digestive problems were assessed using selected items of Nutrition Risk Index (NRI), cognitive and functional status by Folstein and Barthel indices respectively; demographic data, diagnoses and medications were obtained from medical records.Results: The prevalence of depression in the studied population was 28%. MNA scores were significantly lower among depressed patients as compared with non-depressed (22.86 vs. 24.96, p < 0.001), indicating a higher risk for undernutrition among depressed persons. After controlling for age, cognitive status, functional ability, and number of illnesses, undernutrition was significantly associated with depression (OR = 2.23; 95% CI: 1.04–4.8).Conclusions: Nutritional risk is associated with depression in aged inpatients. Close case management of the elderly hospitalized patients that include assessment and treatment for both disorders may be beneficial.

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Accession: 022341589

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PMID: 18443713

DOI: 10.1007/bf02982661

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