The nutritional, glutathione and oxidant status of elderly subjects admitted to a university hospital

Saudi J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan-Feb;17(1):58-63. doi: 10.4103/1319-3767.74474.


Background/aim: Malnutrition in elderly patients is common in hospitals, and many of the age associated chronic diseases have a common factor, which is oxidative stress. The aim of the study was to evaluate the nutritional status, glutathione, and oxidant status of elderly patients.

Patients and methods: The mini-nutritional assessment (MNA) was used to determine the nutritional status of elderly patients. Glutathione concentration in the whole blood, plasma albumin, and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) levels was measured spectrophotometrically by the enzymatic recycling method. In addition, length of hospital stay was estimated. All measurements were taken within 48 h after admission.

Results: The results showed that more than two-thirds of the elderly were classified as at risk of malnutrition and malnourished. About 45% and 53% elevation in the TBARS was found in at risk of being malnourished and in the malnourished groups, respectively, compared to the well-nourished group, but the elevation did not reach the significant level. No significant differences in the glutathione concentration and in the length of hospital stay were found among the three mini-nutritional assessment categories.

Conclusions: The study indicated the necessity of performing the MNA test for elderly upon admission to hospitals, and more attention needs to be paid to this vulnerable group of people.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glutathione / blood*
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Serum Albumin
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Glutathione