To assess the prevalence of nutritional risk among an ethnically diverse group of urban community-dwelling older adults and to explore if risk varied by race/ethnicity.
Demographic characteristics, Katz’s activities of daily living and health-care resource utilization were ascertained cross-sectionally via telephone surveys with trained interviewers. Nutrition risk and nutrition symptomology were assessed via the abridged Patient Generated Subjective Global Assessment (abPG-SGA); scores of ≥6 points delineated ‘high’ nutrition risk. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were conducted.
White, Black or Hispanic community-dwelling adults, ≥55 years of age, fluent in English or Spanish, residing in the city limits of Chicago, IL, USA.
A total of 1001 participants (37 % white, 37 % Black, 26 % Hispanic) were surveyed. On average, participants were 66·9 years old, predominantly female and overweight/obese. Twenty-six per cent (n 263) of participants were classified as ‘high’ nutrition risk with 24, 14 and 31 % endorsing decreased oral intake, weight loss and compromised functioning, respectively. Black respondents constituted the greatest proportion of those with high risk scores, yet Hispanic participants displayed the most concerning nutrition risk profiles. Younger age, female sex, Black or Hispanic race/ethnicity, emergency room visits, eating alone and taking three or more different prescribed or over-the-counter drugs daily were significantly associated with high risk scores (P<0·05).
One in four older adults living in an urban community prone to health disparities was classified as ‘high’ nutrition risk. Targeted interventions to promote healthy ageing are needed, especially for overweight/obese and minority community members.