Nutrition risk factors as predictors of hospitalisations and mortality among Māori and non-Māori community-living octogenarians : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

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Aim: The aim was to examine the consequences of high nutrition risk (hospital admissions and mortality at 24-months) using the Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition, Version II (SCREEN II) nutrition risk domain scores among the participants of the Life and Living in Advanced Age Cohort Study New Zealand. Methods: Demographic, lifestyles, and health data from 421 Māori (177 males, age: 82-90) and 516 non-Māori (237 males, age: 84-86) was examined at baseline. The Senior’s in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition (SCREEN II) tool was used to examine three key domains of nutrition risk (1: “weight change”; 2: “dietary intake”; 3: “factors affecting intake”). Multiple regression analyses examined the relationship between SCREEN II domain scores and all-cause hospitalisations and all-cause mortality. Results: Half of the participants were at high nutrition risk (Māori 49.4%; non-Māori 38.3%), with a higher prevalence among women (Māori 54.2%; non-Māori 48.6%). For Māori, the SCREEN II “dietary intake” domain score was negatively associated with mortality [OR (95%CI) 0.74 (0.71-0.98), p=0.034], once adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic deprivation, education level, previous hospital admission, comorbidities, and activities of daily living. There was trend toward a negative association for all-cause hospitalisations (p=0.150). There was no significant relationship between SCREEN II domain scores and hospital admissions or mortality for non-Māori. Conclusions: For older Māori at high nutrition risk, dietary intake is the strongest nutrition risk predictor of all-cause mortality and may predict risk of hospitalisation. Strategies to ensure dietary adequacy and consumption of a variety of foods may assist to improve health outcomes.
Human Nutrition and Dietetics