Malnutrition is associated with an increased risk of falls and impaired activity in elderly patients in Dutch residential long-term care (LTC): A cross-sectional study

Jacques Neyens*, Ruud Halfens, Marieke Spreeuwenberg, Judith Meijers, Yvette Luiking, George Verlaan, Jos Schols

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose of the study: Falls are frequent in LTC, with considerable health consequences. This study explores the relationship between malnutrition, activity, and falls in Dutch LTC residents and the influence of nutritional intervention on this relationship. Design and methods: A secondary data analysis of a cross-sectional, multi-center point prevalence and incidence measurement. Setting: 81 LTC settings in The Netherlands. Participants: 6.701 LTC residents aged 65 and older; mean age 84; 70% female. Prevalence measurements of nutritional status and activity, and a 30 days incidence measurement of falls. Results: Of all participating residents, 9.8% sustained at least one fall, and 22.8% was malnourished. Malnourished residents were more often a faller (odd ratio (OR) 1.78; p <0.01) and inactive (OR 1.7, p <0.01) than non-malnourished residents. Multivariate analysis confirmed the relation between malnutrition and fallers, without interference of activity. In the malnourished group with nutritional intervention, the percentage of fallers was lower than in the malnourished group without nutritional intervention (OR 0.738; p = 0.056). Implications: Malnutrition is associated with an increased risk of being a faller and with impaired activity in Dutch LTC residents. Malnourished residents who receive nutritional intervention have a lower risk of being a faller.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-269
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Nutrition
  • Mobility
  • Falls
  • Relationship

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