Malnutrition and risk of falling among elderly without home-help service - A cross sectional study

A. Westergren, P. Hagell, Catharina Sjödahl Hammarlund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the frequency of malnutrition risk and associated risk of falling, social and mental factors among elderly without home-help service. The aim was also to explore factors associated with risk of falling. A cross-sectional design was used. Elderly persons own homes. Data were collected during preventive home visits to 565 elderly (age range 73-90 years) without home-help service. Those with complete SCREEN II forms were included in the study (n=465). Measurements included rating scales regarding malnutrition risk (SCREEN II) and risk of falling (Downton). In addition, single-items: general health, satisfaction with life, tiredness, low-spiritedness, worries/anxiety and sleeping were used. According to the SCREEN II, 35% of the sample had no malnutrition risk, 35% had moderate risk and 30% had high malnutrition risk. In an ordinal regression analysis, increased malnutrition risk was associated with being a woman living alone (OR 4.63), male living alone (OR 6.23), lower age (OR 0.86), poorer general health (OR 2.03-5.01), often/always feeling tired (OR 2.38), and an increased risk of falling (OR 1.21). In a linear regression analysis, risk of falling was associated with higher age (B 0.020), not shopping independently (B 0.162), and low meat consumption (B 0.138). There are complex associations between malnutrition risk and the gender-cohabitation interaction, age, general health, tiredness, and risk of falling. In clinical practice comprehensive assessments to identify those at risk of malnutrition including associated factors are needed. These have to be followed by individual nutritional interventions using a holistic perspective which may also contribute to reducing the risk of falling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-911
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health & Aging
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiotherapy

Free keywords

  • Malnutrition
  • home-dwelling
  • fall risk
  • preventive home
  • visits


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