260594 Impacts of Eating Alone and food intakes on all-cause and metabolism-related mortality among the elderly in Taiwan

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:54 PM - 3:06 PM

Ho-Jui Tung, PhD , Dept. of Healthcare Administration, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan
Ming-Chin Yeh, PhD , Nutrition and Food Science Program, CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY
Nutrition well-being is critical for staying healthy, reducing chronic diseases, and increasing longevity. Prior studies show that both food intake and social ties decline with aging. In this study, the association between an indicator of social support, eating alone, and all-cause mortality and metabolism-related mortality (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, heart disease, and diabetes) was examined over an 8-year period from a longitudinal survey of health status among elderly in Taiwan. Data from a national representative sample of elders (N=2176, aged 70 or over) were collected in1999 and linked to the Death Certificate File to obtain the recorded ICD-9 codes of death for the deceased respondents by the end of 2007. Proportional hazard models were used and eating alone (compared to eating with someone else) and intake frequencies of nutrients (e.g. meat/poultry, egg, and vegetables) were included to predict all-cause and metabolism-related mortality, while controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status, smoking, self-rated health, chronic conditions, functional disability, and weight status. Among the 2176 respondents, 1009 of them had died by 2007 and 377 of them had died from metabolism-related causes of death. “Eating alone” was a significant predictor of all-cause mortality even after controlling for the intake frequencies of nutrients and other variables (p=.0027). However, when predicting metabolism-related mortality, “eating alone” was not significant and a stronger association was found between dietary intakes and metabolism-related mortality (p<.0001). Our findings suggest that the impact of eating alone on older people's health is universal, while nutrition intakes contribute, more specifically, to metabolism-related mortality.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1.Understand the distribution of “eating alone” and distribution of dietary intake frequencies among the elderly in Taiwan. 2.Understand the relationship between frequencies of food intake and all-cause mortality and metabolism-related mortality among the elderly in Taiwan. 3.Describe the impacts of eating alone and nutrition intakes on older people’s health and well-being.

Keywords: Nutrition, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is a secondary data study and I conducted all the analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3303.1: Nutrition and Aging