Online Program

Novel Tool to Highlight Nutrient Shortfalls in Older Adults

Monday, November 2, 2015

Erin Paxson, MS, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York, NY
Sharon R. Akabas, PhD, Institute of Human Nutrition, Columbia University, New York, NY
Regan Bailey, PhD, RD, National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, Bethesda, MD
Shilpa Saklani, MS, Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences, Center for Population Health & Health Disparities, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Lowell, MA
Katherine L. Tucker, PhD, Department of Clinical Laboratory & Nutritional Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Lowell, MA
Nutrient shortfalls occur in several sectors of the US population. Prevention of shortfalls has the potential to improve quality of life and save lives and healthcare dollars. Older adults are at particularly high risk because of increased requirements for several nutrients while energy requirement is reduced. This higher nutritional standard is further challenged by physical changes associated with aging (e.g. poorer dentition, reduced saliva production) or preference for easy-to-prepare foods. These insufficiencies put older adults at greater risk of falls, fractures, and disease outcomes. National monitoring data can help identify vulnerable subgroups that may require further intervention from healthcare practitioners. We propose to develop a tool to heighten the practitioner’s ‘index of suspicion’ (IOS) that a patient may be at risk of inadequate micronutrient intake. National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (2011-2012) were analyzed by age, sex, ethnicity and SES for shortfall nutrients, with distribution adjustment using the National Cancer Institute (NCI) method, to identify vulnerable subgroups. Data are presented as % of subgroup <EAR. Age and sex were the primary factors associated with inadequate intakes. Adults aged ≥71 y, the most rapidly growing subset of the US population, were most likely to have low intake of calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, B6 and B12. Women were at higher risk than men of low intake for all of these nutrients across the age range. Once developed and tested, an ‘IOS’ tool practitioners could identify vulnerable groups, thereby heightening awareness of the need to improve that individual’s nutritional status.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the prevalence of nutrient shortfalls in the US population based on NHANES (2011-2012) data Discuss the public health implications of shortfall nutrients Describe a novel tool to highlight nutrient shortfalls in older adults

Keyword(s): Aging, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a masters degree in nutrition science. I have continued work in the field for the past five and a half years. During the past three years I have been an integral part in a major project related to micronutrient intakes in the US with a focus on shortfall nutrients. My contributions to the work have been guided by my degree in nutrition and current study of epidemiology.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Pharmavite, LLC Nutrition Unrestricted Educational Grant

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.