A study on nutritional status of elderly and association with morbidity in a rural village of Andhra Pradesh, India

Kiran Prakash Kanaparthi, Venkata Suresh Anga


Background: Aging is a universal process. Individual ageing is influenced primarily by a person’s genetic makeup, lifestyle and environmental factors. Among the various environmental factors that modulate ageing, nutrition plays a significant role. Objectives of the study was to assess the nutritional status of the elderly residing in a rural community and incidence of morbidity among them and to identify risk factors for the occurrence of morbidity among the elderly and suggest possible strategies for intervention.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on elderly people residing in Pedautapalli village.

Results: Comparison between energy, protein and fat intakes and socioeconomic status is found to be significant. The most common complaint was that of musculo-skeletal pain (29.9%) followed by visual problems (25.2%) and joint pains (17.2%). 20 (47.6%) males and 28 (62.2%) females were deficient in energy, 22 (52.3%) males and 33 (73.3%) females were deficient in protein, p=0.043, and 7 (16.6%) males and 10 (22.2%) were deficient in fat. Counting all the episodes of morbid conditions, the incidence of morbidity was 262.9 episodes per 100 person years. In the undernourished group (BMI<18.5, n=22) it was 213.6 episodes per 100 person years and in the others (normal and overweight, BMI≥25, n=40) the incidence rate was 240 episodes per 100 person years. The relative risk was 0.89.

Conclusions: It was concluded that there was no association between nutritional status and the incidence of morbidity in the study population.


Elderly people, Morbidity levels, Nutrition status

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