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Prevalence of malnutrition risk in elderly with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Endocrinology & Metabolism International Journal
Elsa Silva,1 Cláudia Andrade,2 Lúcia Narciso,2 Emília Alves,1,3 Ana Valente1,4

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Introduction: Type 2 diabetes is more common in the elderly and is associated with obesity. People with diabetes are already at risk of poor health because of the disease complications. Diabetic patients often have an obese appearance and malnutrition is often unrecognized and untreated.
Aim: The present study is to assess the prevalence of malnutrition risk in a sample of elderly people with type 2 diabetes.
Methodology: A cross-sectional observational study was carried out on 47 elderly diabetic patients.  Clinical and anthropometric data (weight and height) were obtained by consulting clinical records. To archived sociodemographic and lifestyle information it was applied a questionnaire. Waist circumference (CP), arm (PB) and leg (PP) perimeters were measured were performed according to standard  procedures. The body fat percentage (BF) was calculated from the anthropometric equation of  Deurenberg (1998). The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®), validated for the geriatric population was used to assessment nutritional risk. The statistical analysis of the data was performed using the computer software for Windows, SPSS®, version 25.0 (SPSS INc, Chicago). Statistical significance was considered when p <0.05.
Results: The average age of the participants was 74.2±5.3 years with 53.2% males and 46.8% females. The mean value of HbA1c was 8.30±1.98%. There was no statistical significance (p=0.50) between the mean BMI of men (28.9±4.8) and women (30.0±5.7). According to the evaluation of Lipschitz (1994), 51.9% of men and 68.4% of women are overweight. Results of the nutritional status assessment according to the MNA® showed that 27.7% of diabetic patients were at risk of malnutrition.
Conclusion: The prevalence of the malnutrition risk in the present study is very relevant (27.7%), being crucial the nutritional monitoring of participants at nutritional risk and/or overweight, in order to avoid deterioration in their health status and promote a healthy lifestyle.


elderly, malnutrition, diabetes mellitus, evaluation, nutritional status