MONDAY, July 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Prefrail/frail seniors at risk of malnutrition have poor health outcomes and increased mortality, according to a study published online July 13 in JAMA Network Open.

Kai Wei, M.D., from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, and colleagues examined health outcomes associated with physical frailty and malnutrition in a population-based cohort study. Participants included 2,804 community-dwelling adults in Singapore aged 55 years or older at baseline.

The researchers found that the normal nutrition (R-NN) group, as measured by the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short-Form (MNA-SF), had the lowest prevalence of instrumental/basic activities of daily living disability (16.9 percent), which increased substantially only among the prefrail/frail at risk/malnourished (PFF-ARM; 40.2 percent; odds ratio, 1.88). The prevalence of poor quality of life (QOL) using cross-sectional analyses was lowest among the R-NN group (14.1 percent), and the highest increase was seen in the PFF-ARM group (41.3 percent). Across frailty and nutritional status groups, a significant association with incident poor QOL was highest in the PFF-ARM group versus the R-NN group (34.8 versus 19.2 percent; odds ratio, 1.70). The lowest mortality rate was seen in the R-NN group, while the highest rate was seen in the PFF-ARM group (0.54 and 3.04 per 100 person-years, respectively; hazard ratio, 1.72)

“Reported adverse health outcomes attributed to poor nutrition often appear more likely to be associated with physical frailty,” the authors write.

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