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Anorexia and Eating Patterns in the Elderly

  • Autori: Donini, L.; Poggiogalle, E.; Piredda, M.; Pinto, A.; Barbagallo, M.; Cucinotta, D.; Sergi, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2013
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Abstract Objectives: To evaluate the change in eating habits occurring in community- dwelling and institutionalized elderly subjects with senile anorexia. Design: Cross- sectional, observational. Setting: Community, nursing homes and rehabilitation or acute care facilities in four Italian regions. Participants: A random sample of 526 subjects, aged 65 years and older (217 free living individuals, 213 residents in nursing homes, and 93 patients in rehabilitation and acute wards). Measurements: All subjects underwent a multidimensional geriatric evaluation of: nutritional status, anthropometric parameters, health and cognitive status, depression, taste, chewing and swallowing function, and some hormones related to appetite. Diet variety was assessed, considering the frequency of consumption of different food groups (milk and dairy products; meat, fish, and eggs; cereals and derivatives; fruit and vegetables). Results: In anorexic elderly subjects the global food intake was reduced, and the eating pattern was characterized by the reduced consumption of certain food groups (‘‘meat, eggs and fish’’ and ‘‘fruit and vegetables’’) whereas the frequency of consumption of milk and cereals remained almost unchanged. Nutritional parameters were significantly better in normal eating subjects and correlated with diet variety. Conclusion: Because of the high prevalence of senile anorexia in the geriatric population and its impact on the nutritional status, further research should be prompted to establish an intervention. protocol allowing the early diagnosis of anorexia of aging, aimed at identifying its causes and at optimizing treatment of anorexic patients.