Topical Area: Aging and Chronic Disease
The older adult population is increasing worldwide, placing significant burden on healthcare and support systems. Meeting nutrition and physical activity guidelines is critical to maintain health and quality of life (QOL). The objective of this study was to assess nutrition, swallowing, body composition, and physical function in community-dwelling seniors (CDSs) and describe the prevalence of poor status.
CDSs (n=54; 42 female; age=80.1±6.7; body mass index [BMI]=25.2±4.1 kg/m2) participated in a wellness visit to assess a) nutrition (Dietary Screening Tool [DST], an instrument that identifies nutritional risk), b) swallowing (90 ml water swallow challenge; EAT-10 swallowing screening tool) c) body composition (waist circumference; calf circumference; body fat mass index [BFMI]; fat-free mass index [FFMI]), and d) physical function (SARC-F, a five item sarcopenia screener; Short Physical Performance Battery [SPPB], testing balance, gait speed, and sit to stand). Height was measured using a portable stadiometer; weight with a Seca digital scale. Waist and calf circumferences were measured in triplicate. Body composition was assessed via bioelectrical impedance analysis using the Quad Scan 4000 multifrequency analyzer (BodyStat). BFMI (fat mass, kg/[height, m]2) and FFMI (fat-free mass, kg/[height, m]2) were determined.
The DST revealed that 11(20.4%) and 35(64.8%) of the CDSs were “at risk” and “possible risk” for poor nutritional status, respectively. Although the EAT-10 documented swallowing difficulties in 5(9.3%) of the CDSs, 12 (22.2%) failed the 90ml water swallow challenge, consistent with risk of swallowing impairment. Excess adiposity was found in 31(57.4%) using waist circumference and 30(55.6%) using BFMI. Low muscle mass, captured by FFMI, was found in 35(64.8%) of the CDSs. Calf circumference values revealed malnutrition in 3(5.6%) of the CDSs. Six (11.1%) of the CDSs had SARC-F scores associated with poor physical function indicating significant muscle loss in aging. Similarly, SPPB results revealed 14(25.9%) had poor lower extremity physical function.
CDSs exhibit impairments in these measures of wellness, placing their health and QOL at risk. Research examining the impact of lifestyle interventions on these measures is needed.
Funding Sources : None