Objective: Malnutrition is a treatable condition and an important cause of mortality and morbidity in the geriatric population. In this study, we aimed to investigate the risk factors for malnutrition in geriatric patients.
Materials and Methods: Patients aged 65 and over, who were admitted to our center between January 2016 and December 2017, were included in the study. Patients with edema, whose anthropometric measurements could not be performed and who did not agree to participate in the study were excluded from the study. The Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short-Form was used to evaluate nutritional status. The patients were divided into three groups according to nutritional status: normal, with the risk of malnutrition and malnourished. Demographic characteristics and geriatric syndromes were compared between the groups. The chi-square test was used to compare categorical variables, the Mann-Whitney U test was used to analyze non-parametric variables and logistic regression analysis was done to assess nutritional status.
Results: A total of 408 participants (284 female and 124 male) were included in this study. The median age of the patients was 77 years. Malnutrition and the risk of malnutrition were found in 4.9% (n=20) and 24% (n=98) of the patients, respectively. There was a significant difference in educational status, functional dependence, urinary incontinence, dementia and depression between malnourished and normal patients. In logistic regression analysis, dementia (p<0.01, odds ratio=4.33) was independently associated with malnutrition; whereas depression, gender and functional dependence were not associated with malnutrition.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that malnutrition was independently associated with dementia. We suggest that malnutrition and other geriatric syndromes should be screened routinely. Patients with low levels of educational attainment, functional dependence, urinary incontinence, dementia, and depression seem to be at a higher risk of malnutrition and therefore should be paid special attention.