Background: The risk of malnutrition is increased in elderly because of insufficient food intake, debilitating diseases, social loneliness, and economical limitations. It not only increases the susceptibility to the development of diseases, but it also decreases quality of life (QOL)in the absence of proper intervention. The purpose of the present study was to determine the prevalence of malnutrition and to identify socio-demographic variables which may be associated with malnutrition in elderly members of Jahandidegan Council, Shiraz, Iran.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 180 elderly of Jahandidegan Council were selected through simple random sampling. Following obtaining informed consent, data was collected via two questionnaires of socio-demographic and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) and then statistically analyzed.
Results: About 1% of the elderly population were malnourished and 13% were at the increased risk of malnutrition. While lower educational level was found to be associated with poor nutritional status of the elderly, no significant association was observed between age, sex, marital status or previous occupation and malnutrition.
Conclusion: Regarding the importance of malnutrition in elderly individuals, designing and developing a comprehensive nutrition education program for this vulnerable group is required to enhance their knowledge and nutritional skill and to improve their QOL.