Affiliations: [a] Department of Internal Medical Science, University of Cagliari, SS 554 Km 4.5, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy | [b] International Observatory of Oxidative Stress, Via Paolo Grisignano 21, 84127 Salerno, Italy. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Weight loss and overweight/obesity – frequent consequences of malnutrition – may impair functional status and worsen concomitant morbidities in the elderly, often through changes in oxidative balance. In order to verify the relationships between these factors, a group of elderly people living on the island of Sardinia (Italy) underwent health and nutritional status assessment and oxidative balance evaluation. The elderly subjects had significantly higher d-ROMs test and body mass index (BMI) values than controls (d-ROMs 325.4 ± 66.3 vs. 295.4 ± 58.9 CARR U, p = 0.006; BMI 28.0 ± 4.6 vs. 21.7 ± 1.4 kg/m2, p < 0.0001). The risk of malnutrition in the elderly subjects was evaluated with the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), which showed that 32 of the 111 elderly subjects (28.8%) were at risk of malnutrition, of whom 11 (34%) were overweight and 10 (31.2%) obese. Oxidative stress was negatively and significantly correlated with nutritional status. Oxidative stress may precede malnutrition, even in the absence of weight loss. Routine evaluation of nutritional status and oxidative balance in the elderly may help identify an early risk of malnutrition so that treatment can be personalized.
Keywords: Elderly, Malnutrition, Mini Nutritional Assessment, Overweight, Oxidative stress, d-ROMs test