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Improvements in healthcare, along with the development of vaccines and medical treatments, have increased life expectancy worldwide. This has changed the demographic of the global population, with the proportion of older adults increasing. Within Europe, 19.2% of the population were aged 65 years or over in 2016, and it is expected this will increase to 29.1% by 2080. With increasing numbers of elderly, it is important that older people maintain their health status and independence for as long as possible.

Older adults are at increased risk of developing malnutrition due to age-related changes in physiology including changes in body composition, increased requirements for protein and certain micronutrients, deteriorations in appetite and sensory function, which all occur to some extent as people age. Recent work from the MaNuEL project, examining malnutrition in older people found that pooled prevalence rates of high malnutrition risk across all countries were 28.0% for the hospital setting (n = 127 study samples), 17.5% for residential care (n = 30), and 8.5% for community-dwelling older people (n = 32). Prevalence rates were higher in women, people aged at least 80 years and in patients with comorbidities, and varied by screening tool, between countries and by healthcare setting.

This webinar will discuss malnutrition in the older population, focusing on protein-energy malnutrition. Findings from the MaNuEL study including the impact, prevalence, determinants and effective nutritional interventions will be discussed. 

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