Sunday January 20, 2019

Loss of Teeth in Elder People Linked to Malnutrition

The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished

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Poor dental health may lead to risk of diabetes. Pixabay
Tooth loss in elderly linked to malnutrition. Pixabay

Older adults with just 10 to 19 teeth are at higher risk malnutrition, warns a new study.

These patients also had higher rates of weight loss, lower appetite and were at increased risk for dementia and/or depression as well as severe illnesses than those who had a normal nutrition status.

Older adults were also found to be at risk for impaired oral health, the findings showed.

“The mouth is the entry way for food and fluid intake. If its integrity is impaired, the functional ability of an individual to consume an adequate diet may be adversely impacted,” said Rena Zelig, lead author at Rutgers University in the US.

Further, the researchers said that dental clinics were ideal locations to perform nutritional status screenings as they can identify patients who may not regularly visit a primary care provider and who may be at risk for malnutrition.

teeth
In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth. Pixabay

“Clinicians also can provide patients with referrals to Registered Dietitians and community assistance programmes such as Meals on Wheels to prevent further decline in nutritional status,” Zelig said.

The study, published in Journal of Ageing Research and Clinical Practice, analysed the health records of 107 senior citizens treated aged 65 and above.

The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished.

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In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth.

However, further study was needed to examine the relationships between tooth loss and malnutrition risk and the impact of tooth loss on the eating experience and eating-related quality of life, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

AI App With Microsoft Azure to Tackle Malnutrition in India

The new app will hugely impact the early identification of children suffering from malnutrition, thereby reducing the treatment time

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Sanjay Mehta
The children of families in Saranda, Jharkhand suffer from malnutrition and malaria. Sanjay Mehta

Germany-based non-profit Welthungerhilfe has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) smartphone app, powered by Microsoft Azure, to tackle malnutrition in India.

The Child Growth Monitor — a cloud-based app powered by Microsoft Azure and AI services — can detect malnutrition and enable health workers to identify and provide care to children suffering from chronic undernourishment.

By March, the app will help health workers scan 10,000 children under the age of five for signs of malnutrition, across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Twelve teams of 150 trained health workers have been provided app-enabled smartphones to collect the data of children, it added.

The app uses an infrared sensor available in some smartphones to capture 3D measurements of a child’s height, body volume and weight ratio, as well as head and upper arm circumferences down to the millimetre.

Representational image showing a malnutrition ridden child.

The app loads that captured data into Microsoft Azure. Nutritionists and IT specialists then evaluate the scans by using Microsoft AI solutions, pinpointing a child’s dietary health.

“Today, more than 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger. You can’t solve hunger if you don’t know where the hungry people are,” said Jochen Moninger, Innovation Director at the Welthungerhilfe.

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“The Child Growth Monitor app will emerge as a recognised, global solution among humanitarian organisations. In India alone, that could free up hundreds of millions of dollars for reinvestment into the lives of children,” he added.

The new app will hugely impact the early identification of children suffering from malnutrition, thereby reducing the treatment time. (IANS)