Ph.D. Cornell University
It is unclear whether low dietary intake accompanied with multiple nutrient deficiencies or specific nutrient inadequacy is associated with geriatric syndrome. This study aimed to examine the nutrition inadequacy profiles associated with frailty and cognitive impairment (CI). With information from the Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan, 2014-2017, sex-specific nutrient intakes and intake per kg of body weight (BW) were estimated from 24-hour recall data for two age groups (65-74 years; ≥75 years) regarding the three frailty and three CI subgroups. Total energy intakes were significantly lower with the severity of both frailty and CI in analysis combining both gender and age groups, and in both the 65-to-74-year-old women or the over-75-year-old women. These trends were observed but not significant in either of the two age groups in men. Significantly lower levels of energy intake have been observed when age, sex, and sampling strata were adjusted. Intake levels of multiple nutrients also decreased with the severity of frailty and CI. A greater number of nutrient inadequacies for the frail and the CI was found in the 65-to-74-year-old group than the over-75-year-old age group. However, most of the associations between micronutrients and the two geriatric syndromes disappeared after energy adjustment. The remaining few did not show consistency across age-sex subgroups. In conclusion, frailty or CI was associated with low amounts of food consumption accompanied by multiple nutrient insufficiencies. Dietary intervention to ensure adequate total energy and multiple nutrient intakes should be trialed in the geriatric population to address both the causal and efficacy issues.