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The multidimensional background of malnutrition among rural older individuals in Bangladesh: A challenge for the Millennium Development Goal
Uppsala universitet, Uppsala University.
Karolinska Institutet and BRAC, Bangladesh.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2009 (English)In: Public Health Nutrition, ISSN 1368-9800, E-ISSN 1475-2727, Vol. 12, no 12, 2270-2278 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: To investigate the associations and relative impact of illness, socio-economic and social indicators for nutritional status among elderly persons in rural Bangladesh.

Design: A multidisciplinary, cross-sectional study employing home interviews to collect information on demographic, socio-economic and social status; clinical examination to classify medical diagnoses; and Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) to assess the nutritional status of each participant.

Setting: Matlab, Bangladesh.

Subjects: A total of 625 randomly selected individuals (≥60 years of age) participated in home interviews and 473 underwent clinical examination. Complete information on nutritional status was available for 457 individuals, median age 68 years, 55 % women.

Results: Twenty-six per cent of the elderly participants were undernourished and 62 % were at risk of malnutrition according to MNA. More than three-quarters of the participants had acute infections, 66 % suffered from chronic illnesses, 36 % had sensory impairments and 81 % were suffering from gastrointestinal disorders. Acute infections (P < 0·001), gastrointestinal disorders (P < 0·01), depressive symptoms (P < 0·001) and impaired cognitive function (P < 0·01) were significantly and independently associated with poorer nutritional status. Moreover, female gender (P < 0·05), having no income (P < 0·01), being illiterate (P < 0·01) and not receiving regular financial support (P < 0·05) were also independently associated with poor nutritional status.

Conclusions: Malnutrition among elderly people in rural Bangladesh is associated with female gender, medical, psychological, socio-economic and social indicators. A multidimensional approach is probably needed to reduce undernutrition in older populations in low-income countries like Bangladesh.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 2009. Vol. 12, no 12, 2270-2278 p.
Keyword [en]
malnutrition, mini nutritional assessment, burden of disease, poverty, Bangladeshi elderly
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31799DOI: 10.1017/S1368980009005096ISI: 000272312300005OAI: diva2:278624

The study was supported by grants from the Department for International Development, UK to icddr,b: Knowledge for Global Lifesaving Solutions, and from the Swedish Medical Research Council and the Swedish International Development Agency to icddr,b and the Karolinska Institutet. None of the authors has any conflict of interest. All authors were engaged in planning of the study. T.F., T.C., Z.N.K. and Å.W. analysed the data. T.C., Z.N.K. and Å.W. contributed to the interpretation of the analyses. T.F. had the main responsibility of writing the manuscript and all authors provided direct input in the writing of the manuscript.

Available from: 2009-11-27 Created: 2009-11-27 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved

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