OBJECTIVE: The objective of this follow-up study is to assess the association between different potentially modifiable nutritional risk factors; weight loss after six and 12 months and mortality. DESIGN, SETTING: A one year follow-up project among Danish nursing home residents. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 441 nursing home resident living in 11 nursing homes. MEASUREMENTS: Odds ratio was calculated and used to assess the strength of association between different potentially modifiable nutritional risk factors and nutritional status of the participants. The difference in mortality between those who died versus survivors was assessed by means of Fishers Exact Test. RESULTS: Almost half experienced a loss of weight during the follow-up period. The nutritional risk factors significantly or borderline significantly associated with weight loss were; eating dependency, leaves 25% or more of food uneaten at most meals, chewing and swallowing problems. The prevalence of eating dependency; leaves 25% or more of food uneaten at most meals; swallowing problems and enteral nutrition were higher among those who died than among survivors. CONCLUSION: A high percentage of old nursing home residents suffer from weight loss and this is associated with several potentially modifiable nutritional risk factors. Increased combined efforts from all levels of care and wider ranged multidisciplinary nutritional support need to be implemented. Regular routines for assessing weight loss and the potentially modifiable nutritional risk factors cannot be stressed enough.
Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, 2015, Vol 19, Issue 1, p. 96-101