|dc.description.abstract||Background: The global population is ageing with New Zealand currently experiencing a
large growth in those aged 65 years and older. Increasing age is associated with increasing
use of health and disability support services. Vulnerable older adults are at high risk of
malnutrition and may be high users of these services. With global ageing creating more
economic and social pressures on countries, it is important that nutritional well-being, a key
determinant of good health and healthy ageing, is maintained throughout life to sustain
functional health and quality-of-life in older adults. Assessing nutrition status will help
determine those at nutrition risk.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of nutrition risk in community-living older adults enrolled
with The Henderson Medical Centre, a general practice in West Auckland; to determine the
prevalence of dysphagia risk; and to assess the potential of prealbumin (PAB) in conjunction
with C-reactive protein (CRP) as biomarkers of nutrition risk.
Method: Patients enrolled with Henderson Medical Centre were recruited into this crosssectional
study over a three-month period. Nutrition risk was determined by the Mini
Nutritional Assessment Short-Form (MNA-SF), dysphagia risk by the 10-Item Eating
Assessment Tool (EAT-10), and cognitive function by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment
tool (MoCA). Demographic, living situation, co-morbidities, number of medications, and
support services information was collected through a face-to-face interview. Serum PAB and
CRP were measured and their relationship with the MNA-SF analysed.
Results: Two hundred participants, mean age 80.9±4.5 years, were recruited. Women
comprised 55.5%. Two participants were categorised by the MNA-SF as malnourished and
12% categorised as at risk of malnutrition. Dysphagia risk was observed in 7.5%. 131
participants received a blood test, with a mean PAB value of 0.27±0.06g/L and mean CRP
value 4.66 ±11.81mg/L. 85% of participants had a normal PAB and CRP value. No significant
association was found between serum PAB values and nutrition risk status when compared.
Conclusion: One in seven community-living older adults were categorised as at risk of
malnutrition. Our study found a low prevalence of nutrition and dysphagia risk indicating a
generally ‘well’ study population. PAB and CRP did not significantly correlate with the MNA
SF scores in this population. The results highlight the need for further studies investigating the use of PAB and CRP as nutrition biomarkers in community-living older adults.
Key words: older adults, community-living, nutrition risk, dysphagia, prealbumin, C-reactive protein||en_US