Malnutrition and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults
Date of this Version
Background and Aims: Falls and fall-related injuries result in reduced functioning, loss of independence, premature nursing home admissions and mortality. Malnutrition is associated with falls in the acute setting, but little is known about malnutrition and falls risk in the community. The aim of this study was to assess the association between malnutrition risk, falls risk and falls over a one-year period in community-dwelling older adults. Methods: Two hundred and fifty four subjects >65 years of age were recruited to participate in a study in order to identify risk factors for falls. Malnutrition risk was determined using the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form. Results: 28.6% had experienced a fall and according to the Mini Nutritional Assessment-Short Form 3.9% (n=10) of subjects were at risk of malnutrition. There were no associations between malnutrition risk, the risk of falls, nor actual falls in healthy older adults in the community setting. Conclusions: There was a low prevalence of malnutrition risk in this sample of community-dwelling older adults and no association between nutritional risk and falls. Screening as part of a falls prevention program should focus on the risk of developing malnutrition as this is associated with falls.
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