Background & aims: There is no valid, fast and easy-to-apply set of criteria to determine (risk of) undernutrition in community-dwelling older persons. The aim of this study was to develop and validate such criteria.
Methods: Selection of potential anthropometric and undernutrition-related items was based on consensus literature. The criteria were developed using 15-year mortality in community-dwelling older persons ≥ 65 years (Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, n = 1687) and validated in an independent sample (InCHIANTI, n = 1142).
Results: Groups distinguished were: (1) undernutrition (mid-upper arm circumference <25 cm or involuntary weight loss ≥4 kg/6 months); (2) risk of undernutrition (poor appetite and difficulties climbing staircase); and (3) no undernutrition (others). Respective hazard ratio's for 15-year mortality were: (1) 2.22 (95% CI 1.83-2.69); and (2) 1.57 (1.22-2.01) ((3) = reference). The area under the curve (AUC) was 0.55. Comparable results were found stratified by sex, excluding cancer/obstructive lung disease/(past) smoking, using 6-year mortality, and applying results to the InCHIANTI study (hazard ratio's 2.12 and 2.46, AUC 0.59).
Conclusions: The developed set of criteria (SNAQ⁶⁵⁺) for determining (risk of) undernutrition in community-dwelling older persons shows good face validity and moderate predictive validity based on the consistent association with mortality in a second independent study sample.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. All rights reserved.