148652 - Changing nutritional requirements in the 3rd age - Clinical Brief series
- : Online
Older adults are at risk of undernutrition which can contribute to a number of adverse health outcomes. This 1 hour, Category 2 program explores the impact undernutrition can have on the senior population.Relevance to General Practice
Undernutrition is a clinical syndrome characterised by weight loss associated with significant depletion of fat stores and muscle mass. Older adults tend to be more prone to nutritional deficiencies, with both the obese and underweight elderly at risk of developing undernutrition. Poor diet can contribute to the overall burden of disease, including conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and dementia. All elderly people are at potential risk of undernutrition, with an estimated 10 to 44% of community-dwelling older Australians at risk. It nevertheless remains unrecognised and undermanaged in this population, leading to a number of adverse health outcomes.
GPs need to remain vigilant to poor dietary habits among the elderly and isolated, and identify through routine screening their elderly patients that are at risk of undernutrition.