B vitamin status, dietary intake and length of stay in a sample of elderly rehabilitation patients

F. O'Leary, V. M. Flood, P. Petocz, M. Allman-Farinelli, Samir Samman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: To investigate the relationships between previous diet, biomarkers of selected B vitamins, nutritional status and length of stay. Design: Cross sectional study. Setting: Geriatric rehabilitation patients, Sydney, Australia. Participants: Fifty two consenting patients with normal serum creatinine levels and no dementia. Measurements: Serum vitamin B12, plasma vitamin B6, serum and erythrocyte folate, homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA) concentrations; dietary intake using a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire and nutritional assessment using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Length of stay data were collected from medical records after discharge. Results: The age was 80 ± 8 year (mean ± SD), BMI 26.4 ± 6.8 kg/m 2 and MNA score 22 ± 3 indicating some risk of malnutrition. Deficiencies of vitamins B6, B12 and folate were found in 30, 22 and 5 subjects respectively. Length of stay was positively correlated with age and MMA (Spearman's correlation 0.4, p<0.01 and 0.28, p<0.05 respectively) and negatively correlated with albumin, vitamin B6 and MNA score (Spearman's correlation -0.35, -0.33 and -0.29, p<0.05). After adjustment for age and sex, ln vitamin B6 and ln MMA concentrations were significant in predicting ln LOS (p=0.006 and p=0.014 respectively). Conclusion: The study indicates a high risk of vitamin B deficiencies in the elderly and suggests that deficiencies of vitamins B6 and B12 are associated with length of stay. This is concerning as B vitamin status is rarely fully assessed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)485-489
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
    Volume15
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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