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The higher incidence of malnutrition in elderly is well documented. Elderly nursing home residents seem to have a higher risk of malnutrition with respect to the community dwell-ing elderly population. A comparative study was therefore performed to evaluate the nutri-tional status of elderly living at old age homes and in community, in the city of Mangalore. Subjects aged over 60 years were included in this study. Nutritional status was evaluated by anthropometric measurements to calculate the Body Mass Index, W/H ratio, and Tri-ceps skin fold thickness and by data collected through the Mini Nutritional Assessment. A total of two hundred and ten subjects participated in this study. The study subjects were constituted by 108 inmates of old age homes and 102 people who were residing at their houses. The results showed that the elderly at home had higher BMI (p<0.001) and higher MNA scores (p<0.001) compared to those living in old age homes. The MNA results re-vealed that 19.4% of subjects were malnourished and 57.4% were at risk of malnutrition among the old age home residents. The prevalence of malnutrition by MNA was 2%, those at risk of malnutrition were 14.7% in free living elderly. The results of this study show a high risk of malnutrition (p<0.05) in the old age home residents, and confirm the need for increased surveillance of nutritional status among residents of old age homes.
Elderly, malnutrition, anthropometric measurements, Mini Nutritional Assessment