Objective Increasing age is strongly associated with poor nutritional status, hence approaching the risk of poor nutrition in the elderly people is important. This study aimed to identify the associated factors of body mass index (BMI) among community-living Japanese people age over 75 years.
Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted using with a self-administered questionnaire, and 658 participants (347 men and 331 women) were analysed. Demographic, lifestyle (eg, dietary habits, physical exercise), oral status, chronic illnesses, self-rated health, and activity of daily living (ADL) were asked. BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height, and it was classified as underweight (<18.4), normal weight (18.5–24.9), or obesity (≥25.0). Multiple logistic regression model were applied for analysis.
Results The study demonstrated that 70% of participants were normal weight, following to obesity (21.4%), and underweight (8.5%). Number of taking medicines, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipaemia, and gastroenteropathy were associated with BMI. The adjusted OR with age, gender, economic status, number of drugs being taken, and presence of associated illnesses for excellent/good self-rated health tended to be lower among underweight participants (OR=0.40, p=0.008), whereas higher among obese participants (OR=2.53, p=0.001) than normal weight. In contrast, ADL was not associated with BMI. Compared to normal weight participants, underweight participants tended to perceive chewing problem (OR=2.47, p=0.003), and not always eat 3 meals in a day (OR=3.75, p=0.003).
Conclusion The results suggested that nutritional interventions should be targeted particular to underweight latter-stage elderly people for promoting their health. Moreover, keeping good oral health is key element to prevent underweight among elderly people.
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