Malnutrition in geriatric patients: A neglected problem?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The nutrient intake in geriatric long-stay patients and the mortality risk associated with low energy intake were studied in 61 patients, 43 women and 18 men, with a mean age of 87 years, at a geriatric long-stay care hospital during a 6-month follow-up. Dietary intake was assessed with a 9-day dietary record. Energy expenditure was calculated assuming a physical activity level of 1.33 × basal metabolic rate (BMR), predicted from equations given by FAO/WHO. Mean energy intakes were 1557 kcal in men and 1280 kcal in women; 84% of the patients had an intake below estimated energy expenditure and 30% were below estimated BMR. Only 5% received dietary supplement. Eleven out of the 61 patients died during the follow-up and the deceased had lower energy intake than the others (1185 kcal vs 1401 kcal, P<0.05). An energy intake below median (1378 kcal) was associated with an age adjusted increased 6-month mortality risk, odds ratio 12.5. A high proportion of geriatric long-stay patients report dietary intake far below present recommendations and are thereby at risk for having/developing malnutrition. Improved surveillance of geriatric long-stay patients' dietary habits seems justified.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geriatrics
  • Nursing


  • Diet, Malnutrition, Mortality, Nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-855
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch