Malnutrition afflicts 1 in 4 elderly patients
By Mike Snider
One in 4 elderly patients is malnourished, says a survey of health-care
providers who treat patients 65 and older.
The patients aren't getting proper nutrients because of deficiencies, excesses
or imbalances in their diets, says the report by the Nutrition Screening Initiative,
a project of health care associations. That weakens the ability to fight off
sickness and recover from surgery and illness, say most of the 750 physicians,
nurses and administrators answering the survey.
The Nutrition Screenings Initiative releases findings today in Washington
- About half the elderly patients in hospitals and 2 of every 5 in a nursing
home suffer from malnutrition.
- Malnourished patients are more likely to have major complications and
more expensive hospitalizations than healthy older patients are.
- Nutritional assessments for those of all ages should be included in
the health benefits package that the White House Take Force on Health Care
Reform is now formulating, says U.S. Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
The findings suggest that many elderly Americans have become "a walking
bull's-eye for diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, cancer) that target
the malnourished," he says.
EDITORS NOTE: It has been known for some time that our elderly are starving
to death in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. I do not think that
it it is form neglect, but from the bodies inability to breakdown and absorb
nutrition from the food supply.
are linked to health and longevity
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