Nutrition is one of the essential determinants of health in the elderly so that in older age, malnutrition and chronic diseases become prevalent, and one leads to another and vice versa.
This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of malnutrition and its association with general health and multimorbidity among older people living in nursing homes in Ahvaz City in 2016.
This analytical cross-sectional study was conducted on 184 older people living in nursing homes located in Ahvaz. The participants were assessed using a demographic form, mini nutritional assessment tool, and the 12-item general health questionnaire. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS V. 18 using descriptive statistics as well as the Spearman correlation coefficient, independent t-test, and one way ANOVA.
Of 184 participants, (66.2%) were female and (33.8%) male with a Mean±SD age of 68.9±7.8 year. Also, (19.2%) had malnutrition, (52.17%) risks of developing malnutrition, (28.8%) normal nutritional state, and (99.26%) undesirable general health status. There was no statistically significant relationship between their general health and nutritional status. About (35%) of the elderly had 3 or more diseases, where their most common disease was depression. Based on the results, their nutritional state had a significant correlation with multimorbidity (r=0.92, P=0.02) and between high-protein food intake and skin problems (r=0.71, P<0.001).
Regarding the undesirable nutritional status and the low level of general health in the elderly, nutritional, and psychological interventions for this group seems necessary.