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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 160-168

Nutritional status and morbidity patterns of the elderly in a Northwestern Nigerian hospital: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Family Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Clinical Services and Training, National Orthopedic Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Office of the Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Gombe State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdulgafar Lekan Olawumi
Department of Family Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Zaria Road, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_545_21

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Context: Nutrition is a significant factor in determining the health of older people because it affects almost all organs and systems, which could lead to varieties of diseases and premature death. Aim: To determine the nutritional status and its association with the morbidity patterns of elderly patients. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional hospital-based descriptive study involving 348 patients aged 60 years and above who presented at the Family Medicine Clinic. Subjects and Methods: Data of the socio-demographic profile, anthropometric measurements and clinical diagnosis were collected. The co-morbidities were classified based on the number, duration and affected organ or system. The nutritional status was assessed with the Mini-Nutritional Assessment tool. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were used to determine associations between nutritional status and morbidity patterns of the elderly. The level of significance was set at a P ≤ 0.05. Results: A total of 348 respondents were recruited with 60.9% of females and mean age of 67.83 (standard deviation ± 7.53) years. The prevalence of malnutrition was 25.3% and of risk of malnutrition 56.6%. Furthermore, the prevalence of multi-morbidity was 74.4%. Advanced age (odd ratio = 8.911, confidence interval [CI] = 1.992–39.872, P = 0.004), underweight (OR = 1.167, CI = 0.291–37.846, P < 0.001), lack of formal education, (OR = 1.569, CI = 0.357–0.908, P = 0.018), low monthly income (OR = 1.975, CI = 1.376–2.836, P < 0.001), chronic respiratory diseases (OR = 4.250, CI = 4.025–4.492, P < 0.001) and physical inactivity (OR = 2.466, CI = 1.063–5.722, P = 0.036) were the predictors of malnutrition. Furthermore, the duration of chronic disease for more than 10 years (OR = 1.632, CI = 0.408–0.979, P = 0.040) was significantly associated with at-risk of malnutrition. Conclusion: The study revealed advanced age, underweight, low educational status, chronic respiratory diseases and physical inactivity as independent risk factors for malnutrition among the elderly.

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