1 in 4 eldery persons suffer from malnutrition

One in four elderly individuals, who are 60 or over, suffer from malnutrition. Over 50% of the elderly are at the risk of becoming malnourished, discovered in a study.

Malnutrition is a major issue for elderly women is much higher (28.8 percentage) than males (22 percent) according to the study carried out by the Public Health and Informatics (PHI) department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

The study, conducted on 125 older people from three villages in Dhaka's Uttarkhan neighborhood, revealed the following: 65.3 percent of people are at the risk of malnutrition.

The data was gathered during the months of November and October of 2019 and the research findings were presented during a conference on the BSMMU campus, on Thursday.

Researchers estimate that there are 1.5 crore older people living in the country. However, plans to provide preventive healthcare for them are not enough.

The primary causes of the decline in nutrition among seniors include depression; the underlying dental and oral health conditions and avoiding foods such as eggs, milk, and meat and the presence of non-communicable illnesses.

"The target population in our study was mainly from insolvent families... So a suitable nutrition programme is needed for them," Dr KM Thouhidur Rahman, lead researcher in the study as well as the scientific coordinator of PHI department said to The Daily Star.


The study carried out by the BSMMU's Internal Medicine and Rheumatology department discovered that over 50% (52 percentage) of all older people living in rural areas suffer from arthritis pain. Approximately the majority of them are affected by moderate impairment.

The aging-related illness is more common among the women (56.6 per cent) than males (43.4 percent) as per the study, which was conducted on 380 residents of Dhaka's Dohar upazila in the month of April from April 2017 to March 2018.

"The main problem is that if arthritis pain is not addressed at an early stage, it causes disability among elders. Despite a large number of elders suffering from this problem, there is no proper treatment arrangement," said Dr. Moinul Hassan, the lead researcher of the study.

He stated, "If health staffers working at grassroots, like community healthcare providers, were trained, they could have referred people to tertiary hospitals."

Another study was conducted by

The Palliative Medicine department discovered that the majority of patients who were in the last state of their disease between 50 and 80 .

From the total number of participants, 60% were diagnosed with cancer. the majority of them sought palliative care at home after being recommended by their doctors.

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