The SOLINUT study: analysis of the interaction between nutrition and loneliness in persons aged over 70 years

CH de Valence et Centre de Prevention (CDPRV-26) 24 rue du Jeu de Paume 26000 Valence, France.
The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging (Impact Factor: 3). 01/2005; 9(4):261-8.
Source: PubMed


Insufficient nutritional status is a frequent problem in the elderly, correlated with aging, diseases, but also environmental factors in this growing part of the population. Loneliness should be one of these factors.
the aim of the SOLINUT study was to determine the relationship between loneliness and nutritional status in persons aged over 70 years, in order to improve the detection and management of the isolated elderly at high risk of malnutrition. It was both an epidemiological and cross-sectional anthropological study, based on quantitative and qualitative nutritional and sociological investigation, carried out between March 2002 and May 2003 in 150 elderly persons (mean age 80.8 years, oldest subject 99 years) living alone at home.
a large number of subjects had a dietary intake which was inadequate to cover their nutritional needs--42.6% less than 25 kcal/kg/day, threshold for undernutrition in the elderly--21.3% had established undernutrition, ( average in epidemiological studies in non isolated elderly populations: 3-7%)--44% were not able to carry a shopping bag weighing 5 kg and so could not buy their own food. Lastly, 32% never shared a meal with family or friends, which reveals their degree of social isolation.
It has been demonstrated that greater coordination between the various service providers would prevent a large number of isolated persons from failing to obtain the various allocations and services available to them. We must stress the extreme importance of preemptive intervention, by an active screening policy which could simultaneously prevent undernutrition and encourage physical activity in isolated persons to avoid their becoming "excluded recluses".


Available from: Monique Ferry
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    • "Préserver les contacts sociaux, l'autonomie financière et lutter contre la dépression La solitude est en soi un facteur de risque de dénutrition [37]. Elle est en outre un moteur de la dépression, ellemême considérée comme un facteur de risque de mauvais vieillissement [38] car la capacité à composer avec les stress lors de l'avance en âge fait partie des aptitudes à bien vieillir [39], tout comme un bon sommeil [40]. "
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