Demographic predictors of nutritional risk in elderly persons

Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, Mary Ann Johnson, Leonard W. Poon, Peter Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined aspects of nutritional risk among community-dwelling elders (N = 240) to identify age cohort differences in nutritional risk. It was hypothesized that advanced age, female gender, minority status, low income, and low socioeconomic status would increase nutritional risk, Chi- square analyses identified demographic differences in the Nutritional Risk Index. Compared to octogenarians (n = 86) and sexagenarians (n = 79), centenarians (n = 75) were at nutritional risk for oral and bowel problems. Compared to Whites (n = 171), Blacks (n = 69) were at nutritional risk from illnesses that interfered with eating and appetite, from oral problems, and from weight changes. For the total sample, advanced age was associated with increased nutritional risk. Cohort analyses revealed, however, that age was an inverse predictor of nutritional risk among centenarians; Black centenarians were at greater nutritional risk than White centenarians. Community-based nutrition screening and intervention programs must target the oldest-old and minority elders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-375
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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