September 20, 2019
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Poor diet increases frailty risk in older age

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Poorer overall diet quality and lower vegetable protein intake increased the risk for frailty in old age, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Only a few previous studies have looked at indicators of diet quality — such healthy eating and protein and energy intake — and their impact on frailty, according to Linda M. Hengeveld, MSc, of the department of health sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues.

In their analysis, researchers examined associations between the diet quality of 2,154 community dwelling men and women aged 70 to 81 years and their frailty over 4-year period.

Adjusting for energy intake and other confounders, the researchers found that older adults with poor- and medium-quality diets (HR = 1.92; 95% CI, 1.17-3.17) had a higher frailty incidence than their counterparts who had good-quality diets (HR = 1.4; 95% CI, 0.99-1.98). The incidence of what the researchers called “pre-frailty” and frailty increased with each 10 fewer grams of vegetable protein a person ate (HR = 1.2; 95% CI, 1.04-1.39).

“Although some prospective studies showed that higher protein intake may lower frailty risk, our study indicates that the quality of the overall diet may be more important than protein intake for reducing the development of frailty in old age,” Hengeveld and colleagues concluded. by Janel Miller

Disclosures : The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.