Fast Five Quiz: Presentation and Diagnosis of Nutrition and Malnutrition in Older Adults

Nadia Ali, MD, MPH


July 13, 2021

As in other age groups, social determinants of health play heavily into nutritional status, and characteristics linked to malnutrition in noncritically ill patients aged 65 and older include residence in an assisted living facility, absence of a college degree, and admission to the hospital. Social barriers include financial limitations, living alone, and relying on others for meals. Other risk factors may be poor oral health, food insecurity, and lack of transportation.

An older person's appetite may be affected by psychological factors that contribute to poor nutritional status, such as depressive symptoms, bereavement, loneliness, and cognitive decline. When taking the patient history, dietary restrictions, cultural rituals, and alcohol intake must also be considered.

Learn more about risk factors for malnutrition in older adults.


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