Prevalence of Malnutrition and Its Correlates in Older Adults Living in Long Stay Institutions Situated in Beirut, Lebanon

Mohamad El Zoghbi, Christa Boulos, Sanaa Awada, Samar Rachidi, Amal All Hajje, Wafaa Bawab, Nadine Saleh, Pascale Salameh


Background: Malnutrition represents an important issue in older adults; unfortunately, there is lack of data concerning this topic in Lebanon. This paper aims to provide a description of nutritional status and its correlates in older adults living in long stay institutions situated in Beirut.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in three long stay institutions in Beirut in 2012. The study population was composed of people aged 65 years and above, having a score of Folstein Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) greater than 14 and without renal failure requiring dialysis. Subjects meeting inclusion criteria filled out a questionnaire consisting of nutritional status scale (Mini Nutritional Assessment: MNA) and several other parts (demographic, self-assessment of the state health, smoking and alcohol, physical dependence, quality of life, frailty, depression, social isolation and loneliness). Data were entered and analyzed using the statistical software SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), version 17.0 (Chicago, IL, USA).

Results: Among 111 older adults (55 men and 56 women), 14 (12.6%) were malnourished, 54 (48.7%) were at risk of malnutrition and 43 (38.7%) had an adequate nutritional status. Multivariate analysis showed that physical exercise, depression, frailty and cognitive function were independent correlates of nutritional status of older adults. This model explained 42.2% (adjusted R2 = 0.422) of the older adults nutritional status variability.

Conclusion: We found a moderate percentage of malnutrition in older adults living in long stay institutions situated in Beirut, and the correlates of malnutrition in older adults were low physical exercise, depression, frailty and low cognitive function.


Elderly; Malnutrition; Nutritional status; Lebanon

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