*Nzeagwu O.C and Ozougwu, C.B
Department of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike PMB
7267 Umuahia, Abia State Nigeria
*Corresponding author: [email protected]
Background: Nutrition plays significant role in health of older persons, as undernutrition and overnutrition are
associated with greater risk of morbidity and mortality.
Objective: The study assessed the nutritional and health status of older persons ≥ 60years in Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Materials and methods: This cross sectional multi-stage sampling study was carried out on 238 randomly selected community dwelling older persons aged ≥ 60 years who gave their informed consent. Semi-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on socioeconomic and dietary pattern. Anthropometric indices of BMI, waist circumference (WC) and calf circumference (CC), waist hip ratio (WHR) were assessed using standard procedures and compared with recommended cut-off. Geriatric health questionnaire consisting of functional ability – Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)) and nutritional health checklist (NHC) was used and judged for dependence and independence on recommended scales. Data was analyzed using IBM SPSS statistics version 22.0. Pearson correlation was used to determine relationship and significance judged at p< 0.05.
Results: Most (58.4%) were within 60-69 years. Some (33.2%) sourced their income from their children and 42.9%
earned between N18, 000- N36, 000 (approx 50 – 100USD) monthly. Most (68.1%) skipped meals. Majority (60.6%) were overweight/obese with BMI. In CC (87%) were malnourished; 56% and 55.9% were at risk of cardiovascular disease from WC and WHR respectively. In ADL (66.4%) were very dependent; 27.7% were dependent in IADL. Most (62.6%) had high nutritional risk; 25.2% were moderately at risk using NHC. There was significant relationship between CC and ADL (r = -0.70; p=0.009); no significant relationship (P>0.05) between other anthropometric variables with ADL and IADL.
Conclusion: Most of the respondents skipped meals; majority were malnourished using CC. Most were dependent in ADL, few were dependent in IADL. Many were at high nutritional risk using NHC.
Key words: Older Persons; Obesity; Dietary Pattern; Geriatric Health