Original Article

Assessment of Malnutrition in Community-dwelling Elderly People: Cooperation among General Practitioners and Public Health


Background: Malnutrition, a very common condition in the elderly, is known to increase their vulnerability to adverse health events. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition in the over 75-yr-old community-dwelling population in the “Chiavarese” Local Health Unit district (North West Italy).

Methods: The short version of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA-SF) was used by General Practitioners (GP) as a screening tool to investigate the nutritional status of elderly people (1039 subjects). The study was conducted in 2012- 2013 in the Local Health Unit of Chiavari (Liguria Region), Italy. The malnutrition was subsequently confirmed by means of biochemical parameters. Subjects at risk of malnutrition or malnourished (n=22) received personalized dietary counseling by the GP.

Results: The MNA-SF recognized 21% of the elderly people being at risk of malnutrition and biochemical tests confirmed a malnutrition prevalence of 3.5%. The dietary counseling improved the MNA-SF score and biochemical parameters, but the difference was statistically significant only for the MNA-SF score (P=0.00613).

Conclusion: Malnutrition can be evaluated with a simple tool such as the MNA-SF, recognized at the earliest stage and successfully treated by the GP.



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IssueVol 47 No 5 (2018) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Malnutrition Free-living elderly people MNA Dietetic counseling

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FERRARI BRAVO M, GALLO F, MARCHELLO C, BOICELLI R, LUPI S, ATZEI M, BRUNETTI F, CASARETTO R, DAPELO F, GEREVINI D, LEONARDELLI E, MANNO A, PERI E, SOAVE P, TRAVERSARO A, ZAMPOGNA A, ZUNINO R, STEFANATI A, GABUTTI G. Assessment of Malnutrition in Community-dwelling Elderly People: Cooperation among General Practitioners and Public Health. Iran J Public Health. 2018;47(5):633-640.