Community and Public Health Nutrition
There are limited data on nutrition risk profiles of community-dwelling older adults and their consumption patterns of oral nutritional supplements (ONS). This study assessed the characteristics of nutritionally vulnerable ONS users versus non-ONS users.
A cross-sectional study of White, Black and Hispanic community-dwelling adults, ≥ 55 years of age, residing in Chicago metropolitan area (MSA), USA was conducted over a 4-month period. Demographic characteristics, Katz’s activities of daily living (ADL), healthcare resource utilization, and ONS consumption in the last six months were collected via a telephone survey. Nutrition risk was assessed via the abridged Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (abPG-SGA) and the DETERMINE checklist. Characteristics of ONS and non-ONS users were compared using t-tests and chi-square tests. A multivariable logistic regression assessed which characteristics were independently associated with ONS use.
Results : Of 1001 participants surveyed, 996 provided data on ONS use; 26% (n=261) were classified as ‘high’ nutrition risk, and 11% (n=114) reported consuming ONS. ONS users reported consuming on average 4.7 bottles/week, with recommendation primarily received from their physician (37%). ONS users were more likely to be at high nutritional risk than non-users per both abPG-SGA (43% vs 24%, p< .001) and DETERMINE (68% vs 48%, p< .001) results. They were less likely to be independent on all ADLs (86% vs 92%, p=.03), reported higher healthcare utilization, and were more likely to take ≥3 drugs/day (77% vs 53%, p< .001). Higher nutritional risk (per abPG-SGA), lower body mass index, hospitalization in past 6 months, and taking ≥3 drugs/day were significantly (p< .05) associated with ONS use.
Although one in four older community-dwellers living in the Chicago MSA were at high nutrition risk, only 11% of them reported consuming ONS. Older adults are more likely to consume ONS and experience poor health outcomes and polypharmacy. These results suggest that identification of nutrition risk among community-dwelling older adults remains unaddressed and may not result in nutrition interventions. Improved identification of nutrition risk and implementation of targeted interventions with ONS is warranted for older community-dwelling adults.
Funding Sources : Abbott, Columbus, OH, USA