Clemson, United States

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PubMed | 23 Poole Agricultural Center
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: The journal of nutrition, health & aging | Year: 2016

Medical and life-style factors are associated with malnutrition in older adults. This study assessed the presence of these risk factors in limited-resource, community-dwelling older adults to inform the development of a nutrition education interventions.Quantitative descriptive study.A total of 24 randomly selected congregate nutrition sites (where limited-resource older adults can receive one hot meal/day, five days/week) in the rural state of South Carolina, USA.Data were collected from 477 older adults (of the 407 who reported race, 219 were African American and 171 were White).Extension Educators who work for the Cooperative Extension Service (a formalized educational outreach system associated with some U.S. universities) read aloud a 27-item instrument designed to assess risk factors for malnutrition. Response frequencies were tabulated and chi-square tests were performed using SAS 9.3.More African Americans reported having a chronic illness or condition (81.2 vs. 68.3%; p=0.003), eating alone (66.2 vs. 53.6%; p=0.012), having a refrigerator that sometimes did not keep food cold (31.8 vs. 8.4%; p<0.0001), and sometimes not having enough money to buy food (38.9 vs. 18.5%; p<0.0001) compared to White older adults.Rural older adults who attend congregate nutrition sites, especially African Americans, could be at risk for malnutrition due to health status and food preparation-related factors. Evidence-based, tailored programs are needed to minimize malnutrition among limited-resource older adults living in rural areas in the U.S.

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