Nutr Res Pract.  2019 Jun;13(3):222-229. 10.4162/nrp.2019.13.3.222.

Impact of socio-demographic factors, lifestyle and health status on nutritional status among the elderly in Taiwan

Affiliations
  • 1School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, College of Nutrition, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan. chenjui@tmu.edu.tw
  • 2Ministry of Health, Avenue of Burkina, Ouagadougou 7035, Burkina Faso.
  • 3Department of Information Management, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, 365 Ming-Te Road, Peitou District, Taipei 112, Taiwan.
  • 4Master Program in Global Health and Development, Taipei Medical University, 250 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan.
  • 5Joint Commission of Taiwan, 5F, No. 31, Sec. 2, Sanmin Rd., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City 220, Taiwan.
  • 6Nutrition Research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, 252 Wu-Hsing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES
Aging is an imperative problem for many countries in this century, and presents several challenges for the maintenance of good nutritional status. This study aims to assess the impact of socio-demographic factors, lifestyle and health status on the nutritional status among the elderly in Taiwan.
SUBJECTS/METHODS
A cross-sectional study was carried out in Taiwan. Data were obtained from the Mei Jau Health Management Institution, which is a private health evaluation provider with multiple health screening centers in Taiwan and Asia. This study included 7947 adults aged 65 years or above. The data were extracted between 2001 to 2010. Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric data, biochemical data and dietary intake information.
RESULTS
Among the 7947 participants with mean age of 70.1 (SD = 4.5) years, 20.2%, 6.6%, 10.5% and 52.5% experienced underweight, protein malnutrition, anemia and inadequate dietary intake in the past month, respectively. Age was negatively correlated with body weight (r = −0.19, P = 0.02), body mass index (r = −0.41, P < 0.001), albumin level (r = −0.93, P < 0.001) and hemoglobin level (r = −0.30, P = 0.008). Age above 70 years, gender, unmarried status, retirement, lack of education, low family income, smoking, alcohol drinking, sleep duration of 6-8 hours, vegetarian diet, multiple medications, comorbidity and dysphagia were positively associated with malnutrition in older adults.
CONCLUSIONS
Underweight and inadequate dietary intake are prevalent among the elderly in Taiwan. Vegetarian diet, multiple medications, comorbidity, dysphagia and lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol drinking and sleep duration of 6-8 hours are risk factors for undernutrition in older adults.

Keyword

Undernutrition; lifestyle; diet; elderly; Taiwan

MeSH Terms

Adult
Aged*
Aging
Alcohol Drinking
Anemia
Asia
Body Mass Index
Body Weight
Comorbidity
Cross-Sectional Studies
Deglutition Disorders
Diet
Diet, Vegetarian
Education
Humans
Life Style*
Malnutrition
Mass Screening
Nutritional Status*
Retirement
Risk Factors
Single Person
Smoke
Smoking
Taiwan*
Thinness
Smoke
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