Malnourished Seniors

hb20130405By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A look at seniors visiting an emergency department found most were malnourished or at risk of it. Researcher Timothy Platts-Mills of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill saw this in data on 138 patients.

Platts-Mills says the patients were mentally fine enough to take a nutrition assessment test, and almost all had a doctor. But he says a sizeable minority were frankly malnourished:

“Sixteen percent of the patients in our sample were malnourished. Additional problems reported by individuals who were malnourished included depression, difficulty buying groceries, and dental pain.”

Platts-Mills says these are solvable nutrition problems; for instance, people can bring seniors groceries.

The study in Annals of Emergency Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.


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