OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between nutritional status and frailty in older adults.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Community-dwelling older adults were recruited from 10 study sites in South Korea.
PARTICIPANTS: 1473 volunteers aged 70-84 years without severe cognitive impairment and who participated in the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS) conducted in 2016. MEASUREMENTS: Nutritional status was measured using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF). Frailty was assessed with the Fried's frailty index. The relationship between nutritional status and frailty was examined using the multinomial regression analysis, adjusting for covariates.
RESULTS: Of the respondents 14.3% had poor nutrition (0.8% with malnutrition, 13.5% at risk of malnutrition). There were 10.7% who were frail, with 48.5% being prefrail, and 40.8% robust. Poor nutrition was related to a significantly increased risk of being prefrail (odds ratio [OR]: 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-2.32) and frail (OR: 3.30, 95% CI: 1.96-5.54).
CONCLUSION: Poor nutritional status is strongly associated with frailty in older adults. More research to understand the interdependency between nutritional status and frailty may lead to better management of the two geriatric conditions.
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