Depressive symptoms and risk for malnutrition among hospitalized elderly people

Larissa German, I. Feldblum, N. Bilenko, H. Castel, I. Harman-Boehm, D. R. Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Objectives: To explore the association between depressive symptoms and risk for malnutrition in hospitalized elderly people. Methods: 195 hospitalized medical patients older than 65 years of age were studied in a cross-sectional design. Depression was assessed by 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), nutritional status was evaluated by the Mini-Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Eating and digestive problems were assessed using selected items of Nutrition Risk Index (NRI), cognitive and functional status by Folstein and Barthel indices respectively; demographic data, diagnoses and medications were obtained from medical records. Results: The prevalence of depression in the studied population was 28%. MNA scores were significantly lower among depressed patients as compared with non-depressed (22.86 vs. 24.96, p < 0.001), indicating a higher risk for undernutrition among depressed persons. After controlling for age, cognitive status, functional ability, and number of illnesses, undernutrition was significantly associated with depression (OR = 2.23; 95% CI: 1.04-4.8). Conclusions: Nutritional risk is associated with depression in aged inpatients. Close case management of the elderly hospitalized patients that include assessment and treatment for both disorders may be beneficial. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Elderly
  • Risk for malnutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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