Nutritional status of urban homebound older adults

Academic Article


  • The purposes of this study were to assess comprehensively the nutritional status of frail older adults living in an urban area and to identify factors associated with nutritional insufficiency. Subjects were 49 adults aged ≤ 65 y followed by the Jefferson County Home Health Department. Twenty-nine percent of the women and 63% of the men had a body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2) < 24. Nineteen percent had serum albumin concentrations < 35 g/L (3.5 g/dL). More than one-half of the subjects reported symptoms of oral health problems. The key dependent variables were serum albumin concentration and BMI. In univariate analyses, a lower BMI correlated with oral symptoms, male sex, increased age, and less education. Lower serum albumin concentrations were associated with advanced age, increased dependence in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), oral symptoms, and presence of a caregiver. A stepwise multiple-regression model for BMI and serum albumin showed that predictors of low BMI were increased age, less education, difficulty in chewing, and absence of dentures. Variables in the model for lower serum albumin concentrations were sex, increased age, increased dependence in ADLs, and wearing of dentures. In a secondary analysis that controlled for age, education level, functional status, and sex, oral symptoms remained associated with lower BMI but not with lower serum albumin concentrations. This study found a high prevalence of undernutrition in urban homebound older adults and suggests that oral health disability may affect nutritional status in this population.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ritchie CS; Burgio KL; Locher JL; Cornwell A; Thomas D; Hardin M; Redden D
  • Start Page

  • 815
  • End Page

  • 818
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 4