The burden of depression and malnutrition in the elderly population of Western Rajasthan

Shikha Upadhyay, Neha Mantri, Nitin Kumar Joshi, Akhil Dhanesh Goel, Nitesh Kumar, Manoj Kumar Gupta, Pankaj Bhardwaj, Kuldeep Singh


With changing demography, developing countries will be outnumbered by the elderly and their associated chronic diseases. The geriatric population is at increased risk of malnutrition with multiple factors, especially depression. This study explored potential linkages between malnutrition and depression in the geriatric population. A cross-sectional study was conducted at tertiary healthcare facilities at Western Rajasthan, India from April to June 2018. After consent from 310 elderly patients attending out patient department, a pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data. Assessment of malnutrition status using mini nutritional assessment (MNA), depression using geriatric depression scale (GDS), physical frailty using activities of daily living (ADL), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) was done. Chi-square, Fischer test, and unpaired t-test were employed for inferential statistics. Multiple logistic regression was used to compute the adjusted odds ratio. Out of 310 elderlies, 192 (61.9%) participants were categorized as having poor nutrition and 99 (31.9%) were likely to suffer from depression. The elderly at risk of malnutrition among depressed was 75.8% (n=99) with a preponderance for females, and minor disabilities. Multivariate analysis suggested higher odds of malnutrition in the elderly with lower socioeconomic status and rural residence. Depression and malnutrition are linked in a destructive cycle but the causality remains elusive.

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International Journal of Public Health Science (IJPHS)
p-ISSN: 2252-8806, e-ISSN: 2620-4126

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