Malnutrition and Quality of Life in Elderly RA Patients Save
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) imparts a significant disabilty and quality of life (QoL) limitations worsened by aging, but also by malnutrition.
The elderly are more likely to develop seropositivity and RA. Chronicity and comorbidities can adversely affect outcomes. Researchers studied the role of malnutrition on QoL, activities of daily living, cognitive impairment, and frailty severity (using the Mini Nutritional Assessment questionnaire scores).
From a total of 98 RA patients (over 60 yrs), they found 6 with malnutrition and 36 at risk for malnutrition. Frailty was more common in the malnourished (mild frailty syndrome in 33.3%, moderate in 16.67%, and severe in 16.67%).
Higher levels of malnutrition were associated with greater limitations in activity. While malnutrition was linked to lower quality of life, malnutrition itself was not an independent determinant of QOL. Frailty syndrome was a significant independent determinant of poorer QoL.
Malnutrition and lower body weight had significant effects on cognitive function (dementia was identified in 33.33% of malnourished patients vs. 1.79% in patients with a normal body weight).
Their data showed that malnutrition adversely affects daily functioning, cognitive function, and contributes to frailty scores.