Purpose: The role of nutrition in older men's health and successful aging has been inadequately studied. We examined the relationships among nutritional risk, self-rated health, and successful aging in community-dwelling Canadian older men.
Methods: The surviving cohort of the Manitoba Follow-up Study (n=690, mean age = 86.8 years) were sent a self-administered nutrition survey in December 2007. The survey consisted of the Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition, version II (SCREEN II), a validated tool for assessing nutritional risk of cognitively intact community-living older adults, and questions about successful aging and health.
Results: Of the 553 surveys returned (80% response), 522 with complete SCREEN II data were included in the analysis. Forty-four percent of respondents were at high nutritional risk, 24% were at moderate risk, and 32% were at low risk. Significant relationships were found between nutritional risk and self-rated health (P<0.0001) and successful aging (P=0.008), with greater nutritional risk associated with lower self-ratings of health and successful aging. Higher use of prescription medication was related to greater nutritional risk (P=0.004).
Conclusions: Nutritional screening programs for community-dwelling older men are warranted as two-thirds of the study participants were at nutritional risk. Identifying older men at nutritional risk is a critical step in the process of nutritional assessment, and subsequent nutrition interventions and follow-up are required to prevent further health decline.