OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the appropriateness of two sets of commonly used anthropometric reference data for nutritional assessment of elderly people.
DESIGN: Cross sectional study.
SETTING: Two general practices in Edinburgh.
SUBJECTS: 200 independently living men and women aged 75 or over randomly recruited from the age and sex register of the practices.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight (kg), knee height (cm), demispan (cm), mid-upper arm circumference (cm), triceps skinfold thickness (mm), arm muscle circumference (cm) body mass index (kg/m2), and demiquet (kg/m2) in men and mindex (kg/m) in women.
RESULTS: Men and women in Edinburgh were significantly shorter than those in measured for the Nottingham reference data (demispan 0.79 v 0.80 (P < 0.05) for men and 0.72 v 0.73 (P < 0.01) for women). Comparison with data from South Wales showed that men and women from Edinburgh had significantly greater mid-upper arm circumference, triceps skinfold thickness, and arm muscle circumference. No one fell below the 10th centile of the South Wales data (the commonly used out off point for determining malnutrition) for these measures.
CONCLUSIONS: Both sets of reference data commonly used in Britain may be inappropriate for nutritional screening of elderly people in Edinburgh. Contemporary reference data appropriate for the whole of Britain need to be developed, and in the longer term biologically or clinically defined criteria for undernutrition should be established.
- Aged/statistics & numerical data
- Body Height
- Body Weight
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Nutritional Status
- Reference Values
- Reproducibility of Results