Tuesday June 18, 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
US kids use excess toothpaste: Report. 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.

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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

About 2M Children in Afghanistan Suffer Acute Malnutrition: UNICEF

But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said

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FILE - A boy walks inside what is left of a home in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, March, 3, 2019. The U.N. Children's Fund is appealing for money to treat Afghanistan's malnourished children. VOA

About two million children in Afghanistan are acutely malnourished. Of those, 600,000 face severe acute malnutrition, the most dangerous form of undernutrition in children, said Christophe Boulierac, a spokesman for the U.N. Children’s Fund.

“Any child suffering from severe acute malnutrition is a crisis and needs to be treated to survive,” he said. “We cannot tell you how many children will die, but we can tell you that a child with severe acute malnutrition is 11 times more likely to die than their healthy peers.”

Afghanistan, alongside Yemen and South Sudan, is among the countries with the highest numbers of children under age five suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Severe drought in 2018 has worsened the situation.

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But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said. Pixabay

Recent nutrition surveys across Afghanistan find 22 out of 34 provinces are above the emergency threshold of acute malnutrition. Last year, UNICEF provided life-saving assistance to nearly half of the country’s most nutritionally deprived children. It is aiming to reach 60 percent, or 375,000, of those children this year. But UNICEF is struggling to fund its operation. The agency needs an immediate injection of $7 million, Boulierac said.

“We are the sole provider of this treatment against severe acutely malnourished children,” he told VOA. “We need urgent funding in three weeks, otherwise, we will not send the necessary ready-to-use therapeutic food treatment to the 1,300 health facilities that are waiting for that.”

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This year, UNICEF has provided treatment to more than 73,000 severely malnourished children. Boulierac said plans are in place to immediately scale up the operation to reach more children as soon as more money is available.

He also warned that the nutritional status of Afghanistan’s children is likely to worsen without more secure funding in the pipeline. (VOA)