Do nutrition indicators predict death in elderly Canadians with cognitive impairment?
This study describes the independent association between nutritional risk and death in older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Canadian Study of Health and Aging participants who completed a clinical exam and were diagnosed with cognitive impairment and had complete data for regression analyses were included (n = 735). Nutritional risk was defined as the presence of at least one abnormal nutrition indicator identified during the clinical exam (history of weight loss, abnormal serum albumin, poor appetite, body mass index < 20). Other covariates believed to influence mortality were modelled with nutritional risk using logistic regression. There were 373 deaths during the five-year follow-up period in this sample. Nutritional risk was found to independently increase the likelihood of death (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.1, 2.2) in these older adults suffering from cognitive impairment. Further work is required to determine if interventions can improve nutritional status and quality of life of these older adults.
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