Author(s): Olayiwola IO, Ketiku AO
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Abstract Three hundred and five Nigerian elderly from the Yoruba tribe of both rural and urban areas in the south Western zone of Nigeria were studied. The objective was to assess their nutritional status and identify indicators of nutritional vulnerability. Using a structured household questionnaire, anthropometric measurement and checklist of nutritional vulnerability, nutritional status was assessed and classified into various levels of vulnerability. The demographic characteristics showed that half of the population studied were between 60-69 years, 53\% male, 61\% married and 58\% had no formal education. Based on Body Mass Index (BMI), more than half of the respondents had an acceptable nutritional status with a BMI between 18- 25 (63\%male; 58\% female) whilst 15\% of the males and 14\% of the females were underweight with BMIs below 18 and 3\% of the males had severe malnutrition (BMI below 15). According to the nutritional vulnerability checklist, only 10\% of the males and 4\% of the females were not nutritionally vulnerable. The majority were either moderately vulnerable or (50\% male; 50\% female) or highly vulnerable (39\% male and 46\% female). Stepwise regression analysis identified ten factors contributing to nutritional vulnerability in the elderly: environmental health; food intake, food security; family life; psychological situation; functional capacity; health status; economic situation; alcoholism; and bereavement, with the coefficient of multiple determination of 0.94 at P < 0.05 (R = 0.94 P<0.05). In conclusion, under nutrition was common among the Yoruba elders and women were more vulnerable than men.
This article was published in Asia Pac J Clin Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals