Malnutrition is associated with dynamic physical performance



Ramsey KA, Meskers CGM, Trappenburg MC, Verlaan S, Reijnierse EM, Whittaker AC & Maier AB (2020) Malnutrition is associated with dynamic physical performance. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 32 (6), pp. 1085-1092.

Background Malnutrition and poor physical performance are both conditions that increase in prevalence with age; however, their interrelation in a clinically relevant population has not been thoroughly studied. Aims This study aimed to determine the strength of the association between malnutrition and measures of both static and dynamic physical performance in a cohort of geriatric outpatients. Methods This cross-sectional study included 286 older adults (mean age 81.8, SD 7.2 years, and 40.6% male) who were referred to geriatric outpatient mobility clinics. The presence of malnutrition was determined using the Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ, cut-off ≥ 2 points). Measures of dynamic physical performance included timed up and go (TUG), 4-m walk test, and chair stand test (CST). Static performance encompassed balance tests and hand grip strength (HGS). Physical performance was standardized into sex-specific Z-scores. The association between malnutrition and each individual measure of physical performance was assessed using linear regression analysis. Results 19.9% of the cohort was identified as malnourished. Malnutrition was most strongly associated with CST and gait speed; less strong but significant associations were found between malnutrition and TUG. There was no significant association between malnutrition and HGS or balance. Discussion Physical performance was associated with malnutrition, specifically, dynamic rather than static measures. This may reflect muscle power being more impacted by nutritional status than muscle strength; however, this needs to be further addressed. Conclusions Malnutrition is associated with dynamic physical performance in geriatric outpatients, which should inform diagnosis and treatment/prevention strategies.

Malnutrition; Physical performance; Community dwelling; Aged; Older adults

Aging Clinical and Experimental Research: Volume 32, Issue 6

FundersH2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
Publication date30/06/2020
Publication date online19/08/2019
Date accepted by journal25/07/2019
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

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Professor Anna Whittaker

Professor Anna Whittaker

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Sport