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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Financial strain is associated with malnutrition risk in community-dwelling older women

TitleFinancial strain is associated with malnutrition risk in community-dwelling older women
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSamuel, LJ, Szanton, SL, Weiss, CO, Thorpe, R. J., J, Semba, RD, Fried, LP
JournalEpidemiology Research International
Volume2012
Pagination696518
ISBN Number2090-2972 (Print)2090-2980 (Linking)
Accession Number24163772
Abstract

This study examined the relationship between financial strain, or difficulty acquiring necessities, and malnutrition risk in a community dwelling sample of frail and nonfrail women aged 70-79 in the Women's Health and Aging Study (n = 679). Malnutrition risk was measured with a modified version of the Mini-Nutritional Assessment Short Form (MNA-SF) and defined as a score <11, financial strain was measured by (1) sufficiency of money on a monthly basis and (2) adequacy of income for food, and income was measured by ordinal categories. Mean (SD) modified MNA-SF score was 12.2 (1.80), and 14.7% of women had malnutrition risk. Women who usually did not have enough money to make ends meet had more than four-fold increased odds of malnutrition risk (OR = 4.54; 95% CI: 2.26, 9.14) compared to their counterparts who had some money left over each month. This was only slightly attenuated after control for income and education, (OR = 4.08; 95% CI: 1.95, 8.52) remaining robust. These results show an association between financial strain and malnutrition risk, independent of income, in older women. Self-reported financial strain may be preferable to income as a screener for malnutrition risk in older adults in clinical and research settings.

PMCID

PMC3806140