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Nutrition, 2000 Jan;16(1):50-63.

Assessment of protein energy malnutrition in older persons, part I: History, examination, body composition, and screening tools.

M. L. Omran, J. E. Morley.

Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, St. Louis VAMC, Missouri, USA.

Abstract: Protein-energy malnutrition is a prevalent problem in older persons. Its relation to increased morbidity and mortality has been well documented. Early recognition of malnutrition allows for a timely intervention. A large proportion of chronic diseases affecting older persons can be either prevented or significantly improved by improving nutrition, which underscores the importance of developing a screening system that can trigger a more comprehensive evaluation when indicated. Screening for malnutrition in older persons can be difficult because of the normal age-related changes in many of the commonly used parameters. A comprehensive nutritional evaluation includes a complete history and physical examination in addition to a more specific nutrition-oriented assessment. Specific nutritional assessment includes estimating food intake, anthropometric measurements, and evaluation of several biochemical parameters commonly affected by changes in nutritional status. In this article, we review the commonly used tools for nutritional assessment in older persons. The goal is to promote disease-free, active, and successful aging.
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