Anorexia is a relevant geriatric syndrome because it accounts for most malnutrition in older adults. Constipation has been suggested as a risk factor for anorexia. This study aimed to examine the association between anorexia and functional constipation in community-dwelling older adults. Data on 899 subjects aged 72-86 years were obtained from a follow-up survey of the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study in 2018. Anorexia was assessed using the Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire (SNAQ), while functional constipation was diagnosed based on Rome IV criteria. Anorexia and functional constipation were present in 30.9% and 19.6% of the participants, respectively. Age, female sex, chewing problems, malnutrition, polypharmacy, low Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score, depressed mood, low serum albumin, and functional constipation were associated with anorexia in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate logistic regression, functional constipation was associated with anorexia (OR 1.478, 95% CI 1.038-2.104) after adjusting for age, female sex, and MMSE score. However, after further adjusting for depressed mood (OR 2.568) and chewing problems (OR 2.196), the relationship was no longer significant. This study showed that functional constipation is associated with anorexia in community-dwelling older adults, but this association is confounded by depressed mood and chewing problems.
Keywords: aging; anorexia; functional constipation; older adults.