Factors associated with nutritional status of elderly in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

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Piyanit Churak Panrawee Praditsorn Jaroonsree Meenongwah Wanphen Wimonpeerapattana

Abstract

The prevalence of elderly population is increasing among Asian countries including Thailand during the present. Aging can affect not only the physical and mental health by causing deteriorative changes but also can lead to the problem of malnutrition in elderly. This study aimed to investigate the nutritional status of elderly individuals from Northeastern Thailand and to determine the association between nutritional status of the elderly and socio-demographic factors, lifestyle, and health conditions. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural areas of Ubon Ratchathani province. Anthropometric measurement, health practices questionnaire, and mental health self-assessment tool were applied to 398 elderly participants aged 60 years or more. Multiple logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with nutritional status. Several variables regarding socio-demographic characteristics, health-related lifestyle, and health status were included in the analysis. Results showed that the underweight in the elderly was associated with elderly age ≥70 years (OR = 5.5, 95% CI 2.3-13.0), non-married status (single, OR = 12.9, 95% CI 2.4-69.5; other non-married situation, OR = 3.5, 95% CI 1.5-8.2), teeth or gum diseases (OR = 8.0, 95% CI 2.2-28.9), and appetite disorder (OR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.4-6.5). The overweight was positively associated with the elderly having hypertension (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.0-2.8) and unfavorable health status (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.5). In conclusion, these findings highlight the importance of nutrition and physical health problem among Thai elderly. There is a need for primary health care personals to provide nutritional knowledge and self-health care to improve the nutritional status of the elderly.

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References

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