Clinical Section / Viewpoint
Malnutrition in Older Adults - Urgent Need for Action: A Plea for Improving the Nutritional Situation of Older AdultsVolkert D.
Institute for Biomedicine of Aging, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany
Do you have an account?
- Rent for 48h to view
- Buy Cloud Access for unlimited viewing via different devices
- Synchronizing in the ReadCube Cloud
- Printing and saving restrictions apply
Rental: USD 8.50
Cloud: USD 20.00
Article / Publication Details
During the past decades, malnutrition has attracted increasing scientific attention and is by now regarded as a true geriatric syndrome characterized by multifactorial causality, identified by symptoms and accompanied by frailty, disability and poor outcome. This viewpoint summarizes our present knowledge and the usual current handling of malnutrition in older people and highlights the urgent need for action in this field. Age-related changes in the complex system of appetite regulation, resulting in the so-called anorexia of aging, predispose older adults to a decrease in food intake which may lead to malnutrition, if additional risk factors like health or social problems occur. Consequently, malnutrition is widespread in the older population, notably in those who are institutionalized. Despite the fact that effective interventions are available, prevention and treatment of malnutrition do not currently receive appropriate attention. As an important first step towards better awareness, screening for malnutrition should become a mandatory integral part of the comprehensive geriatric assessment. Furthermore, practical local guidelines should be implemented in all geriatric hospital wards and nursing homes in order to improve nutritional care in the daily routine. Important to note is that reasonable nutritional management is not possible without qualified staff in adequate numbers allowing appropriate individual nutritional care. Regarding future research, studies at the cellular, metabolic and clinical levels and the linking of information from different research approaches are required to better understand the transition from good nutritional health and independence of old people to malnutrition, functional impairment and poor health. In parallel to well-designed observational and intervention studies, standardized documentation of nutritional information in daily routine would enable the uniform collection of data for research as well as for political decisions. In summary, the time is ripe for better inclusion of nutrition in geriatric health care. This will not only bring about improved nutritional status and outcome, and thus individual benefit for the affected person, but also economic benefits both for the institution and the health-care system.
© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel
Article / Publication Details
Copyright / Drug Dosage / DisclaimerCopyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.