X-Message-Number: 12341
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 07:58:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: food and the elderly

Citations: 1-2
  Frisoni GB.  Franzoni S.  Rozzini R.  Ferrucci L.  Boffelli S.  Trabucchi M.
  Alzheimer's Disease Unit, Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Brescia, Italy.
  Food intake and mortality
  in the frail elderly.
  Journals of Gerontology.  Series A, Biological Sciences &  Medical Sciences. 
  50(4):M203-10, 1995 Jul.
  BACKGROUND. Adequate qualitative and quantitative food
  intake is a major determinant of health. However,
  nutritional requirements in the elderly are unknown, and even more so in the
  frail elderly. The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of energy
  and macro-nutrients on health in the frail nursing home elderly. METHODS.
  Food intake of 72 not severely diseased
  elderly patients was assessed with direct weighing method. Outcome measure
  was survival over 28-month follow-up period. Confounders of the association
  of food intake with survival were: age,
  gender, body-mass index, daily function, somatic health, anergy, and
  nutritional status. Crude association of food
  intake with survival was assessed with Kaplan-Meyer method,
  and adjusted association with multiple Cox regression models. RESULTS.
  Patients of the study had good average food
  intake. Mortality rate was relatively low
  (.20 per year). Low levels of energy, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate
  intake were negatively associated with survival even after
  adjustment for confounders. When compared to high intake,
  adjusted relative risks for mortality of low
  intake were 4.74, 3.75, 4.71, and 2.04, respectively. Medium
  levels of energy, protein, and lipid, but not carbohydrate,
  intake yielded intermediate mortality risk.
  CONCLUSIONS. Food intake is a strong
  predictor of survival even in moderately diseased elderly patients,
  suggesting possible low-cost interventions.

  Wagstaff DJ.  Graves CG.  Ruddell JH.
  Food intake and mortality
  in the United States.
  Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology.  7(2):149-59, 1987 Jun.
  Patterns of food intake and cause-specific
  death rates were compared for population groups of the United States for
  1965, the first year for which national files are available. Aging was a much
  more important determinant of death rates than type of food
  eaten. There were no strong patterns of rank correlations of
  food intake and cause of death, but there
  was a preponderance of positive rank correlations for alcohol. This, together
  with similarities of age distributions of alcohol intake and
  death rates for causes related to alcohol, suggested the hypothesis that
  alcohol was associated with increased mortality. Other than
  this, because of the limited power of the exploratory statistical procedures
  applied, the hypothesis that there were health differences in people eating
  different foods could be neither accepted nor rejected.

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