Undernutrition is a very common situation among elderly, that is associated with increased morbidity and mortality rates. On the other hand, calf circumference (CC) is a direct anthropometric measurement, related to fat free mass. An early detection of an elderly undernutrition situation, based on CC assessment, could contribute to prevent its development and consequences.
To analyse the relationship between CC and a possible undernutrition situation, based on the application of the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) test, among Spanish subjects of 65 or more years old, including the gender and age influences.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the nutritional situation of an ambulatory population, from every area of Spanish geography (n = 22007), using the questionnaire MNA. Every subject surveyed was 65 or more years old when the test was done.
There were statistically significant differences between subjects with a CC < 31 cm and those with CC >or= 31 cm, both men and women, in weight, height, body mass index (BMI), MNA total score and undernutrition classification. On the other hand, it was found that those elders with lower CC showed a higher undernutrition risk, both men and women, in every age range studied.
It does exit an association between CC of Spanish subjects of 65 or more years old and the risk of developing undernutrition. That association is similar among men and women, and in all age ranges.